Shed the image.

           “Waking up to who you are requires letting go of who you imagine yourself to be.”
            — Alan Watts.

            What you don’t know is the reality behind the image that man gets slotted into.
         
      Our parents, our siblings, our spouses or our close friends – how well do we know them? For that matter, how well do they know us? If you were to think about it, we really know each other only peripherally. The myriad expectations of others that we burden ourselves with and the countless masks we hide behind as a result, blur the actual picture. We do share our true selves and our  feelings with our closest ones, but only to an extent.  We have been gifted with an ability to perform, feign and masquerade so perfectly, that rarely is it  ‘what you see is what you get‘. The impressions we create of ourselves are often fake, aren’t they?
           
          We all have two faces: the one we put on display for the world, and  the real one that no one knows about.
     We often fall short of people’s expectations and as a result get labelled as someone we are actually  not. However, we  mutely accept that label and begin believing in it so much that we become that  label!  We get so involved in trying to fight off this new label that we become a far cry from our original selves.  We try and don our originality when we are by ourselves, far away from prying eyes, but do so with  a lack of confidence. As a result, we deceive not only our people, but also ourselves. And, what do we get out of this futile exercise? Nothing but desperation and heartache – desperation to be what we truly are, and heartache for living  a life of duality.
       
      We wear different masks and put up an impeccable performance for the sake of our dear ones, for their happiness and peace of mind. Though, on rare uninhibited, unguarded moments, our masks do come off, revealing our true faces. And, boy, does it stun the people with what they see! It does leave us feeling exhilarated, doesn’t it? People’s liking aside, being our original selves does leave us feeling euphoric, like finally we are able to shed the garb of falsity we have been donning all along and be our true, magnificent selves, the way we were supposed to be, isn’t it?

      Really, what do we gain from being someone we are not?  Why not celebrate our inherent qualities and accept ourselves, flaws and all? People will always have an opinion about us. Ignoring those as well as the negative thoughts that run through our mind, is the best that we can do for ourselves. Who is perfect here, anyway?
     
      Let us all  learn  to just be ourselves. Be the way we were meant to be, live the life we would love to and work towards making ourselves happy, people’s expectations be damned! What’s the point in living life as a fake anyway, when there is so much happiness in being original?
   

  *I am participating in the Bar-a-thon at Blog-a-rhythm, for an exciting 7 days of blogging and blog-hopping. Do join us with your posts and have a thrilling week! 

*Today’s prompt: What you don’t know. 

Member of Team Orange Tango.


         

16 Replies to “Shed the image.”

  1. Just be ourselves, is the best advice to give someone and to follow.Pretending to be someone we are not makes us unhappy and afraid to fall off the uncomfortable perch we are on. Great take on the prompt

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  2. I feel when I am with my family that's when I am truly myself. There's no inhibition or masking… they see the raw me … but when with others I guess subconsciously we try to to hide our darker side, fearing judgements … but true in instead of meeting someone else's expectations, let's just meet ours and be happy with that.

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  3. It is often a subconscious action Shilpa. I know that because I am many different people with different sets of friends. Most of us aren't even trying to be a certain way or hiding away our personalities. Perhaps it is the fear of being judged. But yeah, you're right in that it can get pretty stressful. It would be best if we are ourselves all the time. Simpler, too.

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  4. The fun part of this mask and bare face is that people think you are naive and still have not understood society if most of the times you are direct and without pretensions. Society accepts masks as all have it and if someone shuns it you get to hear – “kinna bholaa/bhooli hai – often interpreted as dumb , I presume”

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  5. Being yourself is easier said than done. Remember Shakespeare's 'To Thine own self be true'? If you can't be true to your own-self, what good is it living life like an imposter. We fear public opinion more than personal acceptance. A very deep post Shilpa.

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  6. Wonderful post, Shilpa. I have donned different masks in front of different people in the past. But I have realized to be truly happy, you need to be yourself.

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  7. I agree. People know us in bits and pieces. And jointly a large number of people know most things about us, but no one person knows it all. It's not always intentional either. Just the way things are. 🙂

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