The Masks We Wear and the Filters We Construct
Life is filled with pre-designed constructs for who to be and how to be that we all fall into. Even the trend of being “an #unfiltered, raw individual” is a construct that sets #expectation but does not require looking deeper at who we really are and why we say the things we say or do the things we do. As human civilization has changed over time, so have the #principles we are taught or influenced by through varying circles of #socialization. The truth is we all want to belong, no matter how much we strive to be a pioneer of individualism. Any moment may bring the perceived pressure to mask one’s true feelings or thoughts, in order to sustain #connection. These moments may be inconsequential or prove to be monumental in how one’s experiences of #fulfillment or lack fulfillment further unfold.
“You can’t be honest all the time”, “Fake it till you make it”, are common #advice and #justifications from role models and peers over the #generations. The average person #lies 1-2 times a day, according to polls completed year over year. It seems evident that white lies are acceptable to most but how many #WhiteLies add up to a total face change? Are white lies a #gateway to bigger lies? How many big lies does one have to tell before they have forgotten their #AuthenticSelf? #Masks, make-up, photo #filters, life filters all create a sense of #beauty, #idealism, #perfection, and what is deemed more #acceptable. Adhering to the ideals of perfection on the outside does not resolve the #denial of truth on the inside. True #contentment will always be just beyond reach if we do not choose introspection on the values we seek to uphold and #healing around the pieces of self we commonly ignore, deny, band-aid, or make callous. The less self-aware we are, the more #impulsive and reactive we become. The less development and cultivation one pursues, in the truth of who they really are and whether that is #aligned with their statements and actions, the more illusion, folly, and discontent one creates in their life story. A #disconnection with one’s authentic self only preserves and perpetuates unsatisfying connections with others because illusions are fragile. Every mask, no matter how well it is artfully constructed to deceive and endure, falls in the face of the greatest opportunities and hardships life brings.
Masks and filters are different. Masks are an #illusion or an ideal an individual projects in order to belong, receive short-term gratification, and hide the more vulnerable inner workings of the mind, heart, and soul. Filters are constructed from our reactions to experiences and #indoctrination from societal institutions or familial #foundations. Filters may be #conscious or unconscious in the heart and mind. Filters on a soul level may also be innate programming from previous incarnations or ancestral wounds that are yet to be healed or re-defined. It is natural in the course of life to try on masks and filters as a means to understanding the #HumanExperience, belief constructs, and the pursuit of one’s perceived #WantsAndNeeds. At this time in human history, the intermixing of cultures, remote #digital interactions, and the demands of what is “perceived success” provides a banquet of material and social attraction in abundance, laid within a minefield of #judgment, #competition, #conformity, #persecution, and many other pitfalls and hurdles. The demand of the achievement is that of #perfection in your final landing in order to eat at the table, but this is an illusion. It is an illusion projected by a runaway mind that does not know its own heart. No journey is perfect, otherwise we wouldn’t have the notion of progress. Even when an individual reaches some sense of perfection, there is always some way they could have done it better, according to others. If one has to sacrifice the #truth of their own #identity to meet the demands or desires of others, is this truly perfection? Who’s #happiness are we concerned with and how many masters are we serving in order to serve ourselves?
The truth of this can only be found in the sorting and #clarifying of the masks we wear and the filters we use to dictate how we give to and #receive from others. Filters create pre-formed #expectations. These expectations will inevitably shift throughout the learning inherent in a life story by trial and error or through the dedication of #mindfulness in one’s intentions. How do #avoidance, #disregard, and #denial serve the truth of your own #heart? The mind may find momentary peace or #opportunity, but the heart waits to be seen, #growing more and more quiet and hidden like a neglected or abused child. When the heart is forced into this state again and again, the spark for life becomes less and less tangible. Depression and anxiety are a direct response to the way one fulfills the requirements of the authentic self, the #trust of the heart to be seen and tended, and the unfiltered #honesty the mind continues to defer for the illusion of self-protection, in lieu of the opportunity to heal. The way to fulfill the needs of the authentic self, heart, and mind is to accept #accountability with compassionate #communication and intentional #transparency to align personal #values with statements and #behaviors. From here one expands the perception of beauty and intrigue creating the most enduring and real face to share with the world. No mask required.
The more masks and filters we construct our life with, the less healing and #karmic #resolve we achieve in order to redefine or truly live our own authentic #destiny. The path of sovereignty does not dictate aloneness nor require a refusal to belong. #Sovereignty of the heart and soul offers the mind true #freedom from cyclical #victimhood, #martyrdom, #complacency, the scatter of confusion, and carrying the #burdens of others’ demands, desires, or beliefs when they negate or deny the needs of the #AuthenticSelf. The freedom to meet life and share oneself with an open, resilient heart and soulful integrity is the path to fulfillment. Bowing down to the fear of separation and no longer belonging in a relationship, a group, a dream, or a belief system actually creates #separation within self and ripples out into those relationships. This is because people inherently seek authenticity and honesty even when they ask you to be what they want you to be for them. There is a disconnect in that demand as much as there is a disconnect within self, pretending or trying to meet it. It is an illusion that we could ever ignore forever who we really are at our heart of hearts and what we need to be fulfilled. This is where weighing the value of wants versus needs is imperative in order to discern the gravity of trade-offs when responding consciously to opportunities for #belonging that challenge the integrity of the authentic self. Much of the #journey is about #learning what we need to be fulfilled and where we feel we belong, but it is common for people to settle for less due to the #fear of separation or of challenging the filters they use to define a #ComfortZone.
Discernment, honorable transparency, compassionate communication, and healthy boundaries are essential skills to maintaining #integrity with self, #relationships, and life endeavors. Acknowledging that we are all on a path to learning, healing, and evolving beyond #KarmicContracts and historical influences, in order to refine the experience of embodiment, supports a #balance of perspective when conflict, judgment, and separation occurs. Becoming a #witness of self and a witness of others may be used for personal or collective gain, depending on the #intentional choices made from the knowledge of these observations. Being honest and sovereign does not mean raw #projection of judgmental attitudes, #superiority, or demanding others comply with your needs or #boundaries. It is a practice of being clear in oneself about what you must choose in order to maintain healthy boundaries, how to find #alignment with oneself to life and people that fulfills your mind and heart, and nourishes self-integrity. Choosing sovereignty for self and respecting the inherent sovereignty of others aligns with the release of a need to control others or the outcomes of events. Being intentional is not about #controlling and #manipulating. Intentional living is about defining what we have the power to shift within oneself in order to affect one’s perceptions of an outcome. The practice of #surrender is as much of an integral part of reaching fulfillment, as are the directive #behaviors of intention. Life is about co-creation with circumstance and others involved. A #soulful path is not about dominion, superiority, or acting for the sake of perfection to pull off an illusion. It is about sorting, reflecting, #respecting, and the process of refinement that aligns us to what is #real and #valuable.
Cradle the sacred spark of your inner child. Dive deep into the well to discover the truth of your own heart. Quiet the mental antics that parade the illusion of safety. Reach beyond the comfort zone of what you think you know and silence the talking heads of society to discern the essential requirements of a radiant soul. Your path is your own and you belong with those who honor the integrity of who you are becoming.
Excerpts from the Writings of Julie Hightman