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Masks are a protective covering that disguises who we really are!

All of us wear Masks and often we have many that we switch for different situations. Using them to protect ourselves from been hurt by friends, family and often ourselves; sometimes knowing what we are doing and other times not, believing that we are the only ones pretending.

Masks are an important part of counselling because often they actually hide who we are; not only from the outside world but also from ourselves. Pretending we are something we are not with a constant facade.

We often see someone and make assumptions!  What they present to the world is who they are, but is it really them? Explaining masks to clients can be difficult, Don’t be fooled helps, including how damaging they can be.  The most important thing is recognising what masks we use.

Don’t be fooled by me!

Don’t be fooled by the face I wear, for I wear a thousand masks, masks that I’m afraid to take off and none of them are me.

Pretending is an art which is second nature to me – but don’t be fooled.

I give the impression that I am secure , sunny and unruffled, within as well as without, that confidence is my name and coolness my game, that the waters calm and I’m in command and that I need no-one.

But don’t believe me. Please.

My surface may seem smooth, but my surface is my mask.

Beneath this lies no complacency. Beneath this dwells the real me in confusion, in fear and aloneness. But I hide this.

I don’t want anyone to know it. I panic at the thought of my weakness and fear of being exposed.  Thats why I frantically create a mask to hide behind, a nonchalant, sophisticated facade to help me pretend, to sheild me from the glance that knows.

But such a glance is precisely my salvation, my only salvation and I know it – that is if it is followed by acceptance, if it is followed by love;  it us the only thing which will assure me of what I can’t assure myself – that I am worth something.

But I don’t tell you this.  I don’t dare,  I am afraid to – afraid yout glance will not be followed by acceptance, will not be followed by love.  I am afraid that you will think less of me, that you will laugh at me, and your laugh would kill me!

I’m afraid that deep down I’m nothing, that I am no good and that you will see this and reject me.  So I play a game, with a facade of assurance without and a trembling child within.

And so beginnings the parade of Masks.

Charles C Finn.