This was the topic of discussion at my foolish wisdom gathering the other night. One that caused a lot of reflection, thought and discussion and actually stayed on topic the entire evening.
Some felt that the hats that we wear are one in the same with the masks that we wear. Or at least that is how I heard it. But, I think not. For me the hats that I wear are my different roles in life, wife, mother, employee, friend, etc. Sometimes I wear several hats at once. These are all who I am. Some hats look very different from other hats I wear but that doesn't make them any less me.
The image of me at college with my black leather mini hanging next to my long wool skirt comes to mind. They are both part of who I am at a moment but I don't feel like I am role playing or putting on a disguise (or mask). They are each a facet of who I am.
My masks I tend to wear less and less as I get older. I care less about how people judge me. This is me - take it or leave it. I'd much rather have people in my life who are there for me and not some mask I'm wearing. And in part as I get older I grow more into who I am.
I find having to wear a mask very draining. I wear many of them at work. The I "really love my job" mask ( I don't hate my job but it is not my favorite place to be), the "I really care about your life" mask, the "I would love to stop working on my client and take care of yours first" mask oh, and the list goes on. And I wonder why I come home with a headache and brain fog.
Some masks I put on not because I have to (to stay employed for example) but because I chose to. These masks are less draining. These can actually be uplifting in a way. The mask of love and compassion when I'm not really feeling it in the moment are this way. Soon, I step out of my own box and actually become that love and compassion.
And as I reflect some masks are what others put on you. I believe often times we see what we want to see in others. And we put a mask on them so that is what we see. The truth of who they are may be to much for us to take or differ from who we are and so.....