What mask do you wear?


“The suffering that we create in life is always the tendency to divide and separate…” ~~Ajahn Sumedho

Is your disguise protecting you from the world or the world from you?

Don’t you know vulnerability is the new black?

People are so presumptuous. “No one else feels this way. No one else can understand what I am going thru.” Been there, done that. There are 7 billion people on the planet. The number is hard to grasp once past 9 zeros. In a broad sense, there are (at least) millions like you. At this moment, someone is taking their first breath of life, someone is taking their last, someone is electrified by their first kiss, someone is realizing their dream, someone is losing the person they hold most dear, someone sees no way out, someone is making the best love ever, someone feels like a piece of shit, someone thinks the world revolves around them, someone wonders where their place is, and every other beautiful, scary, mind-bending experience one can imagine. The bottom line is that everyone is doing the best they can with the randomness of any given moment thrown at them. We need to see that more often in each other. It requires letting our guards down. Because when we do, we understand more of ourselves. Barriers do no good between individuals; only promoting isolation, mis-understanding, envy, fear. Terrible feelings indeed.

Try as you might, life will creep in past self-imposed shields. No one is so vigilant as to create a perfect cushion between the unvarnished real deal and the cocoon they attempt to wrap themselves in. A case in point; scientists recently found an alarming, deleterious connection between antidepressants and reduced intimacy and attachment. See Dr. Helen Fisher’s extraordinary work on the subject (and the multi-faceted complications of love relationships). The implications are clear; turn off or shelter one part of ourselves and the others are diminished. Nearly everything is worth feeling even if the lessons come much later. Pain, which is inevitable, leads to wisdom, clarity, refinement. Joy and wonderment are the periodic delicious rewards for living a full life. Extremes and subtleties alike must be felt full bore if we wish to retain a receptivity for everything. There is no numbing or running or cowering allowed.

With all its moments of defeat and glory, life is coming whether you think you can hide from or dodge the bad bits and embrace only the good ones. Meet it head on. Relish the gift that is the fragment of infinite time given each of us. Que sera, sera (whatever will be, will be).

** Title gratuitously ripped off from a retrospective link to an art exhibit at the Walker Art Museum, Minneapolis, Minnesota.

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Image by Martina TR

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