By Raeesa Sarlie
Masks, I’m not talking about the tangible form like, those we buy for fancy dress parties or the types used in rituals, performance arts or any other. I am referring to the masks we wear daily, the metaphorical type. The kind that shields who we are from our loved ones, colleagues and even more disturbing, the one that shields us from ourselves.
As humans we have a never-ending obsession with new beginnings: Monday’s (the first day of the week), the beginning of a new month and one of the most celebrated: the beginning of a new year. What we do not focus on is the significance of certain endings. The ending of a day is something so significant. It is the only time we lighten the load of the shield we wear and are truly ourselves.
That moment right before bed is the place and time it all comes off. Where we lay our souls and mind bare. The moment where all you have fought so hard to hide throughout the day escapes.
During the course of the day you will find people asking you, ‘how are you?’ Do you ever answer honestly? Do you ever wait to hear their response and wonder if there is any truth to it? I assume the answer is no. We have reached a time where transparency between people is somewhat rare and soon becoming a thing of the past. This is evident when asked something so simple and so meaningless. If we cannot answer truthfully, how does that set the foundation for the rest of our human interaction?
From many articles on the internet and magazines, it has become apparent that our generation are plagued by the idea having the ‘perfect life’. The truth is, no one has a perfect life but various social media feeds beg to differ. It is understandable why this is a concern. Because social media – or the way we have consistently used it in a misleading way, is growing a populace of severe distortion and creating a misrepresentation of life.
We have many activists who wish to stand for various causes. I say, become an activist in this regard. Find it within yourself to take small steps each day that transport you to your truth. Go to sleep no longer fighting who you are and what you’ve done but rather embrace it. In accepting yourself you set a standard for others to do so. This type of truth is so powerful, it sends a wave of change throughout your life. In doing so, you are not only changing yourself but engaging in a revolutionary act of changing the world around you.
Who could deny that this world we live in – that is so rife with turmoil, does not need such a change and powerful shift? I dare you to be true, to be honest in your everyday life. Pressures like all things in life stem from fear. There is always a fear of being honest, a fear of not progressing further and many other such things. In such situations it is important to remember a time in the past where you overcame a fear. How often do we overcome fears and then realize, ‘wow! This was kind of silly but I’m happy I went through this journey and became stronger and less fearful in the end.’ This is one of those situations. One day we can look back on it with fondness and see how we changed our lives for the better and in doing this, we inspired others to do the same and created a beautiful ripple effect in the pond of life.