Unmask Your Real Face

2020 has been the year of The Mask.

It has been a year ‘unmasking’ fact from fiction; I expect you have been asking yourself what is really true? Who should you believe when there has been so much confusion and conflicting information being debated?

Maybe the Covid 19 face covering  is a symbolic sign of the times; just one visible layer of the many invisible masks we wear everyday without even being conscious of them.

Historically masks can be traced back thousands of years. Every culture used them in religious ceremony, performance, protection, and shamanic ritual. They helped the wearer to embody the qualities of the personality or animal depicted on the mask’s face.

I wonder what qualities face coverings evoke in you?

The presence of masks in our lives certainly serves as a catalyst  to question, look within, and feel what we feel about having to cover our face. More importantly it can serve as a trigger to become more aware of the beliefs we currently hold about life, our judgements towards others, and the roots of those beliefs.

I have spoken to many people about mask wearing. For some, the Covid mask feels threatening, inhibiting and repressive. It brings up feelings of fear, disempowerment and anger.

For others it has felt comforting, a symbol of safety and protection after emerging from the home after weeks of Lockdown. And others simply decline from wearing any covering at all or shrug it off with little thought.

Intimate Human Connection

Yet despite the varied reactions towards mask wearing, everyone I have spoken to agrees it numbs the experience of intimate Human connection, the vital warmth of a smile at the checkout, or the invisible exchange of care when meeting a frail elderly person struggling with their shopping in the street.

I found it strange that almost overnight masks became fashion accessories. Different shapes, fabrics textures and designs sprung up in local shops seemingly overnight to offer different choices and create new business in uncertain times.

It started with the white disposable masks from the chemist shop and morphed into weird faces, coloured spots, stripes, flowers and cartoon characters. The black Goth masks with skeletons, spider webs and metal piercings, and parents bought animal masks for their young school children.

So how does the Covid mask we wear represent our other masks?

So how does the Covid mask we wear represent our other masks? Layers of them in fact, all hiding our Real Face?

We may believe that when we remove the cloth mask it reveals our real Face.

But is this true?

Shakespeare wrote in  the play “As You Like It:”

All the world’s a stage,

And all the men and women merely players;

They have their exits and their entrances;

And one man in his time plays many parts,

His acts being seven ages.

It is worth considering for a moment;  How many roles do you currently play in your Life?

Parent? Sibling? Office worker? Business owner? Policeman? Romantic partner? Shop worker? Doctor ?

And have you noticed how each role has its own costume to wear with it? And how your role and ‘mask’ changes with each group of people who are ‘on set’ with you at the time?

It is just like an Amateur Dramatics costume department!

Rows and rows of modern costumes, vintage costumes and period drama costumes. All hanging on the rail, lifeless, until You, the actor in your own play, picks them up and gives them movement and life.

Just notice how different you feel when you change costume throughout the day. As an example I love retro aprons. (yes, it’s true I have to admit)…it’s my ‘housework costume’…but then, If I change clothes and need to carry my black briefcase to the car, well….then the mask shifts and I feel somehow more ‘serious!’ and ‘official.’

Try it and see. Become more conscious of how you slip in and out of roles every day without noticing. Notice how your body language and posture quite naturally changes without you even thinking about it.

And when your posture changes, notice how that makes you feel and how it effects your mood.

Relax at Home

It’s why people love the ‘loungewear’ mood I guess. Throwing off the worker ‘power suit’ costume and relaxing at home with snuggly slippers to settle the mind with a steaming mug of tea.

It’s frustrating. Family members just see our old familiar face sitting at the breakfast table and as a result probably don’t take anything we say at home very seriously. Yet if someone else, for example your child’s school teacher said exactly the same thing, then the message is heard  and believed as absolute truth! How many times have you said ,”but I already told you that !” to your child or family?

So, the different roles we play every day are assisted by the costumes we wear to enhance our performance. They also serve to create a clear boundary between ‘Home Me’ and ‘Work Me.’

Imagine you have been acting all your life in a great Drama.

You have played the role so well, for so many years and with such superb skill that you have forgotten it’s a play and now believe you are the fictional character.

Like good Oscar winning method actors we human beings have forgotten who we really are. The human race has forgotten and I believe the masks reflect that back to us clearly. They reflect to us a situation where over the centuries we have given our innate power away to external authority figures and institutions. Governments, Monarchy, and powerful leaders.

But something deeper is now stirring…

 Who am I? Where is the Me who nobody sees?

Behind the smile and office banter, behind the makeup, uniform or clipped beard and suit or even behind the Zoom conference call image.

Where is the ‘me’ who used to be so familiar, closer than the closest friend but now feels alienated, forgotten and adrift on a far distant shore?

Or maybe the thought hasn’t crossed your mind but now there is a faint whisper of a longing stirring in your heart.

But if you keep still and breathe for just one moment. One small moment is all it takes. Simply take time to notice the present moment and you will discover, behind the masks, behind the chasing thoughts and static electrical activity of the brain, there is a calm, still pool of inner tranquility.

And the more you turn your attention towards this calm, still awareness, the more you have the potential to  experience a feeling of expansiveness and inner connection.

Just behind closed eyelids, in the presence of calm, you will re-member your Real Face.

Remember your Real Face

You will re-member that this same essence is exactly the same ‘me’ that was present in childhood, throughout the teenage years, into adult hood right up to the present moment.

It has been waiting patiently, constantly alive, vibrant yet still and silent, simply waiting for you to drop the masks, drop identification with the many roles in life or the worry about being a ‘special somebody.’

When you unmask your Real Face it won’t matter whether you are recognised as being special at work or whether you decide to wear pink, black or polka dot face coverings because you will see it can not mask or cover your true, inner Real Face.

So I urge you to go and look in the mirror and smile an inner and outer smile at the reflection gazing back.

Gaze into your beautiful shining eyes and re-unite with the the “I” behind the masks.

Do not allow cloth masks to cover your True Face

Do not allow cloth masks to cover your Real face and dampen your glowing vitality even while you wear one.

You now have a secret. Connect in the mirror each day. Make eye contact with yourself and others in their cloth masks and face coverings as you go about your day.

Smile and and inwardly say ‘I love you.’

For when we remember our True Face a revolution of unity and Truth will spread like wildfire across the face of the Earth…and Earth too will become unmasked from the weight of ignorance that currently pollutes her pristine body.

It’s a revolution of awakened consciousness.

And now is the time to Unmask You.

1 Comment. Leave new

  • Ewout Van-Manen
    23 October 2020 8:11 pm

    Wow, this is an excellent piece. You write from deep observation, awareness and wisdom. Thank you for this. I have similar thoughts and it is always good to read the result of your own ponderings in someone else’s words. All my adult life I have been very conscious of the connection between what I am wearing and certain roles – mainly in my professional life.
    I avoid wearing a face covering as it is clear that there is little evidence that they reduce the spread of the current topical illness. I wear it when I think it is going to prevent others getting fearful and anxious, even though I am exempt.

    Reply

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