Tuesday, June 16, 2009

I wear a mask.

Yesterday morning I woke up early and somewhere between being awake and asleep, I saw the image of a young man sitting in a prison cell. I began immediately to weave a story around him. I knew that he would die the in the prison and that he was a prisoner of war. I don't want to give the story away and I haven't even decided the war yet, but I'll definitely be writing a book about it. I can't be sure if the story came from a dream, but I suspect it did.

It led me into some serious introspection into the nature of prisons and that greatest prison of the mind. When it comes to progression, be it emotional, spiritual, or physical, the greatest obstacle is always some error of the mind. It is impossible to change if you don't know that you need to. Those who don't accept a Savior don't believe that they need to be saved. Those who purposefully hurt others don't understand that hurting others hurts the self.

It is interesting to see the blindness of people. They walk around wearing a mask that only allows others to see certain parts of them. But the same mask prevents them from being able to see because wearing a mask always covers some part of your own vision.

I've seen this in myself. I, who value genuineness above most other traits, very rarely show my true self to anyone. By nature, I'm silly and whimsical. I love to laugh and come up with the most outrageous stories and situations to make others laugh. I could sing all day long, no matter what I was doing, and there is never a time that I am not thinking very seriously about some concept or another. My true self is a strange contradiction of the most extreme silliness and profound introspection-- almost to the point of melancholy. That's who I am.

But who do I show that self to? My husband and about no one else! My immediate family, especially my mom and sister, have seen more of me than most. But I put up a barrier between myself and most other people. With my church friends, I'm all seriousness, all small talk. We talk about daily life, school, and housework, and I enjoy their children. But I never let them see the person that I am on the inside.

What am I not seeing because of the mask that I wear? If I don't let others see me, will I ever be able to really see them? I don't want to be a prisoner of my mind.