What masks are you wearing? What I mean by this is, what are the ways you're hiding from the world? How do you veer away from your authentic self? How do you change or alter yourself in relationships? The answers to these questions can be very telling as to why you aren't feeling happy, complete, or fully embodied in your life.
Your mask has a lot of different names: the "false self," the "conditioned self," the "learned self," the "ego." Basically what it is is the version of you that is not authentic. We all have this version of ourselves (and some of us have many versions, one for every occasion). The fact that you have a false self is nothing to feel ashamed of. It is, however, a part of yourself that you might want to get to know; especially because happiness comes from learning how to take your mask off.
Here's a short history of where your false self came from. We all received messages (overtly or covertly) when we were young about how to be in the world: "you should or shouldn't be, act, feel, think" a certain way. Naturally we internalized these messages to mean that we needed to be different than who we really are to be accepted. Hence the birth of the false self (good girls, bad boys, etc etc).
Unfortunately many of us have never taken those masks off--we are still walking around as an altered version of our real selves. This causes us to feel like something is "off;" either our relationships don't feel fulfilling or we feel a little fraudulent or incomplete. If you feel "off" in a general way it's a good indication that your false self has taken over. It's time to take back the reins.
One of the most common places for a false self to appear is in romantic relationships. Why? Because romance makes us vulnerable, vulnerability makes us scared, and when we are scared we want to put our masks on! We do this for two reasons: #1 we think that altering ourselves is a way to get people to approve of us (like when we were young) and #2 we believe that hiding behind a mask keeps us safe. Neither are actually true. Really all your mask does is make you feel distant from others. It is a protective measure that backfires in a big way; rather than helping you, it just keeps your authentic greatness hidden from the world.
Your mask is not the real you! The real you is behind all that altering and changing. The real you is your essence, your authentic self, your SOUL. Your Soul may be hidden behind a bunch of stuff, behind the masks, but it's there. And it's waiting for you to make contact. Ask yourself these questions to realign with your true self:
Who am I really? (really, really)
What do I stand for?
What is my purpose?
What is my message?
What am I here to do? (like, on this planet type-of here!)
What is important to me?
What is my gift? What do I want to create?
What inspires me?
What do I really love?
Now live your life according to your answers! Is it always easy? No! It's vulnerable as hell! But it's worth it. Trust me. The fact is you are going to feel limited in your connections if you
are mainly operating with a mask on. Your mask hides you--it keeps you
at a distance. So in order to really start living your life, you have to
start showing up in a more authentic way.
Let yourself out! Greatness does not come from hiding. You have greatness within you and it's dying to be set free. So show the world who you are. We're all waiting to see...