Why you should love your flaws

A friend told me about an exhibition she went to recently where the artist had created an installation by weaving together the responses of people to questions about their fears.

Freed by anonymity to express what they truly felt, the work was a poignant tale about a fragile species, compensating for its vulnerability with defenses and masks.

Not surprisingly old and young, women and men, corporates, labourers, poor, rich echoed the same moving narrative: we are afraid of being real.

Although we are all imperfect we live in a world that demands it be reigned in, tempered, hidden away.

Ironic that others ask us for perfection, which they cannot provide.

There are many reasons why we hide feelings.

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What masks do you wear and why?

We all wear masks, and the time comes when we cannot remove them without removing some of our own skin. Andre Berthiaume

We all wear masks, although the extent to which we layer ourselves varies greatly.

Masks are the personality layer, or persona, that we put on top of the ‘real thing’ (caveats assumed).

They are the edited and decorated versions we prefer to show the world, shielding what we don’t like or accept or that others ask (typically without words) us to hide. They’re a protective barrier.

At the extreme con wo/men construct a palatable false self to divert people from darker intentions. The compulsive liar who says they hate lies, the wo/maniser who prides themselves on fidelity.

With these types charm is a decoy. These mask-makers have no desire to lift the mask, they know very well why it is there. Seeing through them can be difficult, in particular when they are well practiced.

Masks exist on a continuum from the passive-aggressive friend to the sociopath. However for the most part, we don’t realise the masks are there.

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