The three masks
A recent conversation with a friend stirred a thought…
As middle schoolers (and beyond), most people are conditioned to adopt different personalities dependent on the surrounding circumstances. My friend stated he juggled three masks…the “jock”, the “party guy”, and the “Christian”… As one would assume, although he felt he had to act certain ways, feelings of hypocrisy often resulted. This created much stress and detachment resulting in depression and loneliness. This feeling also caused subsequent alcohol use In the early years to “medicate” the feelings.
Fortunately, he has turned out to be a great person, parent, and friend, but what if he hadn’t? Abuse of substances, loss of life quality, unfulfilled life goals, or potential suicide in many cases could have occurred.
As I reflect back to my younger days, I don’t recall wearing any sort of masks, but maybe an “invisibility cloak” to avoid much of the drama that surrounds those informative years. It pains me that anybody can not be themselves for fear of fitting in or being accepted. The result so many times is tragic. As I grew older, I came to realize that other’s drama and negative opinions would not distract me from my best life…I worry too many people never come to this conclusion as they watch life pass.
I suppose my remedy is to teach kids that masks are not needed; that individuality Is the accepted choice; and that acceptance of others for genuine reasons is mandated. Often times, I am dealing with adult students who never grew past the brokenness of their early years and are just starting as adults.
My suggestion is the following:
1. Choose your relationships very wisely..align with “winners” and live well.
2. Disregard negative, toxic, and “bully” like people.
3. Educate yourself in every way possible to own who you are and be great.
4. Balance your health mentally, spiritually, and physically and throw away the masks you have accumulated.
Disclaimer: I am personally always working on all of this myself….
I’m here if you need