Mind versus Soul
We have a tendency to wear masks, or maybe that is what society requires.
Act happy, show strength, stand straight, don’t be vulnerable, don’t talk about your fears or insecurities, when surrounded by people you don’t actually connect with just to be polite.
Ok, that is alright, but where are you?
Can you still find yourself in all of this, or do you get lost in the fear of not being accepted?
The inspiring Maya Angelou, poet, memoirist and civil rights activist, wrote the beautiful poem „The Mask”. She wrote it for a woman who got on a bus in New York city, and who used to laugh at everything. If the bus stopped, she would laugh. If people got on the bus, she would laugh. Maya looked at her and thought that she was not actually laughing, she was simply extending her lips and making a sound. Laughing without really feeling it. She was wearing a mask.
We wear the mask that grins and lies.
It shades our cheeks and hides our eyes.
This debt we pay to human guile
With torn and bleeding hearts…
We smile and mouth the myriad subtleties.
Why should the world think otherwise
In counting all our tears and sighs.
Nay let them only see us while
We wear the mask.
I once conducted an experiment while I was travelling alone. There was nobody who I was dependent on or nobody dependent on me, I didn’t have a date set to return home. I said to myself that I would only take future decisions based on my feelings, not my thoughts. Yes, you could use the expression „She wasn’t thinking”, I truly wasn’t. No external pressure, it was just me, myself and I.
How did I feel? Free. There was nobody to judge my decisions or actions. What I realized in that period where I let my feeling control me was that we do not appreciate our existence enough, our uniqueness, our emotions and how exhausting it is to wear these masks.
Why do we complicate ourselves?
Steve Jobs held a speech at the University of Standford in which he said:
I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: If today was the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today? And whenever the answer has been NO for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something”.
For him death was something that reminded him that he has nothing to lose. „You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.
So what’s the purpose of this article? There is no purpose. Just a small reminder to be your true self. Go through your day, as if it is the last, as Steve Jobs did. Make some changes if they are needed. Don’t be afraid of yourself. Live each emotion that you feel and be grateful for the experience. Be happy that you can feel. Accept your thoughts even if they are negative or bad ones but don’t let them control you.