I had to share this with you today. The author has hit this nail right on the head. There’s the link to the essay, read and rejoice!
Take Off Your Mask. Your Path Will Find You.
How to Find Your Way Home
How do we find our paths? We don’t. They find us.
Go ahead and think about it. Your true love, your career, your passion. These aren’t things you “found” by searching as much as things that happened, arose, were found in you.
But we struggle against that, right? Why?
We’re wearing masks. Your masks are your fears. But they are blocking your light. How can anything find you in the dark? So our paths never quite fully find many of us.
You are arrogant, because you’re afraid of rejection, really being seen. You’re cold, because you’re afraid someone might spark something uncontrollable in you. You’re disinterested, aloof, because you’re afraid of disapproval. You’re too kind, because you’re afraid you’re unworthy. And so on.
We all wear masks. Arrogance, pride, kindness, disinterest, cruelty. Our masks protect us, we think. From what we fear most in all the world. At least wearing our masks we’re not condemned and punished for our secret selves, right?
Why else would we wear them? It takes a great deal of energy to create and wear the mask, right? So we feel burdened, heavy, exhausted by the work of taking them off and putting them on.
We are wearing our fears, and they weigh us down like armor. They leave us less capable of spontaneity, self-expression, living in the endless moment, do they not?
But that is their least bad effect. What our masks really stop is our inner light from shining. When we are arrogant, aloof, cold, and so on, we aren’t luminous, right? We don’t have the sense of being fully, absolutely alive, aware, awake. Because we’re not.
And if we aren’t luminous, who or what can really see us, know us, find us? So we fail to find love, meaning, success. That sense of being fully aware and awake and alive is what draws all good things to us, does it not? Lovers, opportunities, friends, laughter, grace, even our own self-respect. But no one can see us through our masks. We cannot even see ourselves. We fail at last to find self-worth, too.
The inner light is really just our true self. It illuminates all around it. Jesus called it the soul, Buddha called it true being, Rumi called it a candle flame. It makes everything clearer, lighter, purer. It is what puts grace and truth and love in the world we think is just atoms and money and teeth. When your inner light shines, all those around you are illuminated, right? They are able to see and then live what truly matters, counts, endures. Maybe they even see and experience themselves anew. So they know more intense joy, happiness, fulfillment. You share in all that, do you not? That is illumination, the boundless light of pure love.
It is always there inside us, a glowing ember. Our job is simply revealing it. So that it can become a mighty flame.
But the mask blocks the light. When we are arrogant, aloof, cold, overkind, we can’t be compassionate, grateful, creative, truthful, rebellious, loving, can we? We have no reason, no energy, no room. Rumi’s flame goes out. No light shines.
So let us recognise that our masks are really just our fears fossilising around us. The moment that we understand that, we can take them off, can we not? Now we know why they leave us exhausted and ever burdened. So suddenly, is nothing to gain by wearing our fears like cloaks, only everything to gain by removing them.
Now we come to the only true fear. Dying. The moment we take off our masks, the false self dies, does it not? Let it go. It was just a vessel, a step on the path to truth. When we can take off our masks, we take the first step beyond good and bad, weak and strong, judgment and sentencing. We just are. Effortless, natural, true.
Now we are free. And only in freedom can we love, right? The inner light is just that. Pure love. It is Rumi’s candle flickering fiercely in the wind, Christs’s soul rescuing us from bondage, Buddha’s pure being teaching all life liberation.
Freedom is the way and the path illuminated by love. And when at last you take off your masks, so your inner light begins to fiercely glow, you are not just on it. You have become it.