Mental Skills

Photo by Rach Teo / Unsplash

We each build an image and a persona that we present to the world. Our mask as it were.

Our best practice is to try and relate to the images of one another, because that is what we do to ourselves.

So, I don’t really have a relationship with you at any level of depth, we have a relationship of interacting personas and images.

I have an idea about who you are through what I see and vice versa.

Some images and personas are more well adapted to the collective than others, it seems.

I am, at times, painfully shy, which is a brilliant protection mechanism but a serious block to real engagement.

Your persona is outgoing and mine is more withdrawn. Both, however, are defence mechanisms.

So, most people, it seems, are working on their personas, not on themselves in the real sense. In some ways, our outer body is also made of persona, it’s a skin that we wear but it is certainly not who we are. If it were, it would just be congratulations about your appearance.

Appearance is the operative word here.

The outer beauty is skin deep and, ultimately, bound to decay and eventually to dissolve. Without the inner reality shinning through the form, it’s empty.

Perhaps this explains the void of anxious desperation that seems to drive the world right now. Think about it, life in this age is an advertisement.

People present their lives on Instagram in a series of images that project a persona that tells me absolutely nothing about the real you. I find that hugely unsatisfying.

But then, that is just my experience and I know now for sure that it has nothing to do with what others experience. I am responsible for the experience in my life, just like you are in yours. But in my experience I want what is real now. Maybe that’s selfish, but that is what it is for me.

I'm absolutely done with bullshit.

The folie of life. Full of mistakes, shapes that don’t fit, awkwardness, misadventure, tragedy, love, happiness and ecstatic moments that we hang onto for grim death.

So the pieces don’t fit and I don’t think they are meant to. Because even if they do fit, it still feels empty somehow.

When I go deeper into myself, I know I want what’s at the heart of life, not what’s on its periphery. If I focus on the periphery, I am blind to depth, I only see life on the surface level.

The images, the endless personas, the bare face lies we tell each other when we present the image of ok-ness while our hearts are bursting.

For good or bad, my own contact with the deeper aspects of myself gives me contact with the deeper aspects of you.

You can say what you bloody like but I can feel the protection underneath it. I can feel it when you are hiding from me.

But you what? I hide too. I can’t help it anymore than you can.

When I feel your wall, mine comes rushing in like a high tide, and I know it. I’m drowning in it and so are you.

These layers of protection that we have all built up in this altered state where life is presented not lived.

The only gift I’ve got to give you is to rub up against my own protection and let you see me as I am.

So you can see me in my awkwardness, my misadventures, the weird spaces in me that don’t fit, the spills, the wins, the grins and the endless spins. So masks off. That’s the power and strength of vulnerability.

That’s life as it is. Give me the real you and I’ll give you the real me.