You think you see me and I think I see you. I know you don’t really see me and I think I might not really see you.
This mask I wear is a good one.
Around you, and the rest, I am the noble one.
I stand tall, defiant and bold, or sometimes I may appear introspective, humble and aware.
I am the knight who sallies forth despite fearful odds.
I am the too-cool-for-school, who doesn’t worry about anything and never fails to have a perfect comeback.
I am the quiet one, who always gives the look of knowing more than he is showing.
I am the golden boy, who can do no wrong.
I am the Elder, who knows life’s mysterious depths.
But this is all the mask and though I wear it well, it is not me, is it?
Because behind the mask is a small boy who never understands why his mother hurts him so much.
Behind the mask is a teenager who wonders why he can be surrounded by so many people and still feel so out of place and alone.
Behind the mask is a young adult, who is afraid of almost everything.
Behind the mask is a weary old man who is tired of all the sarcasm and longs for honesty.
Behind the mask is a soul that worries of having no purpose, no contribution.
Behind the mask is a fool who has never stopped running.
Behind the mask is regret, guilt, shame and even pride.
Behind the mask are two fearful voices that say “I must never let them see”, and the other “I must escape this place.”
Behind the mask is a wretched, broken creature. One you would pity, but not so much to be willing to get close.
Behind the mask is darkness and hatred.
Yet… still behind the mask is something else.
Behind the mask is the rebellious belief that there is much hope still in this world and life is a beautiful place to be.
Behind the mask is the man who sees his scars as the brushstrokes that transform him into a work of art, instead of a blank page he stands built as an exhibit titled, “Experience.”
Behind the mask is another little boy, who has over-exuberant enthusiasm for countless ideas, stories and hobbies.
Behind the mask is a being who really finds his joy in helping others find their light.
Behind the mask is the letdown who says, “Today will be different.”
Behind the mask is the long-shot who knows they’ll never see it coming.
Behind the mask is the Son who is “carrying the fire”.
Behind the mask is the hopeful who believes that the great stories of virtue can be made manifest in life.
Behind the mask is a leader who is terrified, but who works the courage to says “Follow after me and I will guide you.”
Behind the mask is a believer who stands before the monsters of life to say the words, “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”
Behind the mask is the lover who longs to look upon Beauty and know the warmth of its gaze.
Behind the mask is the father who finds strength in the smiles of children.
Behind the mask is the old sage who knows that he doesn’t really know anything.
Behind the mask is me.
Darkness and light.
Hope and Fear.
Wisdom and folly.
Lies and truth.
Yet still the mask remains, and I question whether it could also be me as well. Though my skin hides my inner parts, is my flesh not also as much a part of me as my lungs or bones?
Yes I am both the mask and the soul behind it.
You too, are the both a mask and a soul together.
Do these words pull at the person hidden beneath your mask?
We must not forsake our mask for it is the armor that protects us, but we must also not neglect that which is beneath it, like we too often do. I must know myself beneath the mask, but to do so I must share it with you. And that too is true for you.
So, let me see more of you beneath and I will too share the same, and let us see what strange and fascinating journey we begin as I begin to know you and you begin to know me too.