Home > Life Lessons, Personal & Spiritual Development > Who am I? Take off the Masks and Find Out

Who am I? Take off the Masks and Find Out

Family Photo from 1986~1987 Left to Right: Me (I think), my cousin Laura, twin brother Justin (I think), and my older brother Bryon

One of the major themes in my spiritual path, and my life in general, has been the search for the real “me”, the search for who I really am. While this may seem simplistic and silly to some people, those people have probably never really asked themselves the question of “who am I”. This seemingly simplistic question is actually a fundamental question that must be asked, and the answer sought, if one is to truly discover peace, harmony, and happiness, which are things that all humans seek on one level or another.

When most people ask themselves the question of “who am I”, usually they will describe various attributes for themselves. For example, I could answer: I am a lawyer, I am married, I am a father, I am a Freemason, I am from a small town in Oklahoma, I like ____, I dislike_____, etc. but is that really who “I” am? Am I simply an amalgam of my career, family life, likes & dislikes, and life experiences? Well… the answer that I have discovered is “Yes and No”. While I am a product of these various attributes, they are not the true me, rather they make up the outer-shell of my true-self in the form of my personality, and the various masks that I use in order to fit in with my various relationships and with society in general. In order to find the true “me”, I must dig deeper…

The key to finding your true-self is to really examine the various layers and masks that you have built up around your true-self. This can be a long task, because many of our layers and masks begin to develop in early childhood, and continue to be layered upon and modified as we grow older. Perhaps we defined our niche as the popular kid in school, the smart kid, the athlete, the class clown, the dramatic kid, the loner, etc. These masks helped us to fit in, or protected us in various ways. For example, as an identical twin I constantly tried to define myself as unique and different from my brother, and I did so through intellectual pursuits, different interests, etc., sometimes to the point of causing conflict and strife, but I needed to feel unique. I am told that this phenomena is extremely common with twins, and by understanding that and embracing it, I have gained an important piece to the puzzle of “me”.

These various layers and masks are not necessarily a bad thing, and in fact sometimes they are helpful. However, the key is to actually examine these various layers and masks, and discard the ones that are stifling us from achieving our maximum potential in both the material and spiritual worlds. By examining and stripping away the negative or repressive layers and masks, we can begin to discover and understand our true-self, our true essence, which is the divine spark from God, known simply as “the soul” by many people. Most importantly, by only keeping the layers that are in-tune with our true-self, we become a more genuine person, where eventually, you will need your masks (even the positive ones) less and less, because as you discover your true-self you will gain inner-peace and confidence to such an extent that the masks will no longer be needed.

For now I will keep peeling away the layers of my personal onion, and keep trying to discard my masks, in order to genuinely live in the now, as my true-self. I am sure I still have a long road to travel, but that is what the spiritual path is all about.

PRACTICAL TIP: When you are in a situation and you feel that you are having to “act” in some way, examine why you feel the need to act in a certain way. Why are you having to adopt a certain persona? Examine what the cause is for that mask, and try and discard the mask in order to be genuine. Also, when you have certain preconceptions or stereotypes, examine the root cause of those thoughts and feelings. By understanding them you can effectively discard them.

*I was inspired to write this post by a previous post by Christina Cronk “No Disguises”, please visit her site and view her original post by CLICKING HERE *

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Also please check out my book, “The Path: Using the Religions of the World as a Guide to Personal and Spiritual Development.” (Click on the book cover to view on Amazon.com)

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