Life requires us to play different parts in different relationships. And not everyone gets backstage access to our life. But we still need regular moments to drop our masks and enjoy life together without pretense.
We learn pretty early how to put on a smile for the occasion – whether for school pictures or the expected pleasantries when greeting others in public.
And many times this smile is still genuine. It’s who we want to be in the moment though it still requires much energy to perform.
The problem comes when this public mask is the only way we know how to be with others.
It’s one thing to put on a pleasant smile when engaging with customers at work or thanking our barista for our morning coffee. But eventually it takes a toll on our souls when we wear a mask all day everyday.
Naturally, this will not be with everyone. But it needs to be with someone.
We need sacred places to rest with others and with no pressure to perform.
Certainly this should include marriage and intimate friendships. And it’s good to have this space in extended communities as well.
We miss vital soul connections and restorative breathing room if every relationship amounts to mere social pleasantries or simply performing our expected parts.
To go deeper we must take the risk, drop our mask, and allow our real self to be seen.
Play the necessary parts in your life and relationships. But be willing to also drop your many masks and enjoy life without pretense.