Today is Halloween! Today we will putting on our masks; however, most of us are already wearing one.
I recently attended an event along with some very high profile women. I observed several women, including those who were very famous and well recognized, entering the room in a cautious manner. It was if they came to the event in costumes, complete with masks. The masks were not the kind we purchase in a cardboard box with cellophane windows. The masks were not the flamboyant type that we would wear to a Halloween party. These were invisible masks of protection that they were wearing because of their fear of rejection.
It does not seem to matter what a woman’s social standing, income, or race is. Many women have difficulty disclosing who they really are. Their beautiful, big personalities are consciously squelched for fear of stealing the spotlight. They dumb down their insightful, brilliant minds so that they will not intimidate others. They paint on perfection in hopes of covering up their dysfunction and flaunt their success to compensate for they aren’t. It seems that many of us don’t really peel off the mask we wear until we age.
I know some women who, like me, have adopted Dr. Seuss’ philosophy:
Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.
Older women tend to be more comfortable demonstrating to younger women that authenticity equals confidence. Authenticity equals honesty and honest women do not play games–pretending to be something or someone who they are not. Many of my friends have demonstrated that being who we are supposed to be, instead of who we think people want us to be, is the way to express grace and confidence. As I people watched (one of my past-times) at the party, I realized that an authentic woman respects others. Since my friends think highly of other people, they expose who they really are. When I am with these friends, I feel that I belong and that I am included.
I realized that authenticity equals acceptance from being with these women. My friends are not going to judge me and they are confident that I will not be judging them. I know that I am accepted just the way I am when I am in their presence. I don’t think that we can really n’t enjoy healthy relationships unless we peel off the mask and show others who we really are.
Grace, real confidence, honesty, trustfulness, inclusion, belonging and tolerance are what I am seeking. I am slowly becoming bold enough to be real and learning to peel off the mask.