The Masks We Wear

“We wear the mask that grins and lies, It hides our cheeks and shades our eyes,- This debt we pay to human guile; With torn and bleeding hearts we smile.”~ Paul Laurence Dunbar

When you wear a mask so well, people do not see the pain in your eyes nor the fear. They see someone strong and unaffected, someone who can handle the fiercest of storms. They do not see the inside of your soul falling apart and crumbling to pieces. They do not understand the emptiness that is left inside. They only see the emotions you attempt to elicit; like the joy and happiness you feign to appear normal and fine. They cannot possibly see the suffocation the mask is causing. They cannot see the struggle it takes to breathe and wake up every day. They only see what you want them to see because to dig deeper than all that is simply too much of an effort. This mask I have worn so very well is beginning to slip off. The sadness behind my eyes now brim with tears. The bravery I once had flowing through me begins to recede as my fears envelope my mind with such savagery I shrink! My lack of soul is exposed, my body bare and plain to see; I am ugly inside and so very broken. I am also alone. For when I allow my mask to slip, I REFUSE to have an audience. So whose fault is it really when the cross I have to bear is so heavy I fall to the ground every few steps? Do I blame those who watch me struggle and do nothing?! Or do I blame myself for not asking for help? Sometimes it feels as though greater forces are at work and this is all a challenge and better days will come and my life fills backup with magic and mystery! At other times when the darkness is all consuming, it feels as if everything is for nothing and life seems pointless. The world turns another day and I am running along with the millions of others in a never ending rat race. Just running round and round with people so self involved they care not for others only themselves. This makes the whole world feel so lonely and desolate. For my own sanity I have to believe there is a greater purpose and it’s not just my own happiness but the happiness of others. Even though I feel alone, I know I cannot be the only person to feel as I do. Living for others and filling the world with my own light seems to be the only logical course of action. However, I will always refuse the happiness of others if my own happiness becomes at risk. That may sound selfish but I have played that strategy before and lost. I have been met with so many injustices it almost broke me. I learned that you cannot live for some people if they are not willing to do the same for you. This is not to imply that every favor or good deed you do should give you a sense of feeling owed, that is not how it works at all. I just learned that I don’t have to waste time and energy on those who are selfish and bitter. I have come to learn that not everyone can be saved, but I will still do my best to help those that ask.


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