A few days ago I watched a short video about someone who lived a very lonely existence even though they were extremely popular. On the outside, they looked happy and as though they were connected to life, but when they were by themselves, they felt unhappy and disconnected.
The image that this person presented to the world was then in stark contrast to how they felt on the inside. I wasn’t surprised by what I saw, though; if anything, I thought that this was a common occurrence.
There is how someone comes across and then there is what is going on internally, and while there might not be much of a difference, these two parts can have very little in common. When these two parts have very little in common, it will be as though one is wearing a mask.
Through wearing this mask, they can come across as though they are happy and that their life is perfect. But if they were to take this mask of and revealed their true feelings, it would become clear that how they come across is nothing more than an illusion.
When they are around others this mask will probably just appear, causing them to take on a certain role; it is then not going to be something that they will need to think about. One is then going to be nothing more than an actor as opposed to an authentic human being.
Their true feelings will be kept at bay and a lot of the people they come into contact with will be none the wiser. It is then going to be unlikely that they will ever win an Oscar, but their performances might be worthy of one – or a number of them.
Back To Reality
When they are in their own company and away from others, what they have kept at bay could end up coming flooding in. They will have needed to use a lot of energy to keep their true feelings at bay, too.
Their inner world is then going to overwhelm them; it could be as though they are drowning in their own emotions. What they need to do at this point is to reach out for support and not to tolerate how they feel, or even worse, to harm themselves in some way.
What Is Going On?
As this person knows so many people, it can be hard to comprehend why they don’t just reach out to someone. Thanks to modern day technology, it is not as though this would take much effort.
The reason they don’t do this, and suffer in silence, can be because they are carrying a lot of shame. This shame will have caused them to believe that they are a deeply flawed human being and that if anyone was to realise this, it would cause them to be rejected and then abandoned.
It’s Like Acid
They are then not going to experience shame from time to time; it will be something that has permeated their whole being. This will be what causes them to wear a mask, and it will be incredibly difficult for them to feel good about themselves.
So, in the same way that hot water will destroy ice; too much shame will erode someone’s self of self. The shame that is within them, along with the beliefs that go with it, will have formed an internal barrier that separates them from others.
Wearing a mask will allow them to form surface level connections with people, but what it won’t do is to allow them to get close to anyone. They can then know hundreds of people (and have thousands of ‘friends’ online), but they won’t be able to truly connect to anyone.
Their need to deeply connect with their fellow human beings will have to be ignored all the while the strongest part of them feels as though they are a deeply flawed human being. This part of them will be in control of how they see themselves and their behaviour.
If someone is in this position, it is going to be vital for them to reach out for the right support. A therapist or a healer, for instance, won’t see them as a flawed human being, but as someone who doesn’t have anything wrong with them.
I would say that due to how obsessed the modern day world is with appearances and looking good, it shows how much shame is being carried by humanity at this time. This also shows how common it is for people to not have the ability to repair their shame, which is what happens when someone can regulate their own shame and thereby stop it from completely taking over.
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Oliver JR Cooper
Oliver JR Cooper
Author, Transformational Writer, Teacher & Consultant.
That which is contained within these articles is based on my own empirical understanding and is true for me at the time they were written. However, as I continue to grow, what I perceive as the truth will inevitably change and as a result of this - parts of these articles may not reflect my current outlook.