We are going through strange times indeed. Five months into the COVID-19 pandemic here in the US, some states are not sure whether they should open or remain closed. In Florida where I live, beaches were closed over the fourth of July weekend, restaurants and bars are open, some churches are still closed, schools are planning to reopen in the fall with some kind of staggered scheduling. To sum it up in one word: CHAOS. How long will this go on? God alone knows.
Meanwhile, some of us, myself included, faithfully wear a mask when away from home, others balk at the mere thought of wearing one. They have rights, they insist. Some take a more authoritative stance, stating, without proof, that masks kill people. Listening to the arguments is wearying. But I will wear my mask until such time as this virus goes away. You are free to do whatever you please. But speaking as a health coach, my advice is, wear your mask. The one that covers your nose and mouth, I mean.
I had to specify that because there is another type of mask some of us wear- one not made from any type of material. One unseen by someone looking at you. Or maybe even you don’t see it yourself. It’s the type of mask you put on from the moment you get out of bed until you go to bed at night. Like the visible mask, this mask may come in different colors, designs and shapes. You may wear the “I’m mad at the world” mask one day; the “I’m afraid” or “I’m ashamed” another day; “I don’t need your help” another day. Or maybe you wear the same mask all the time – “I’ve got it all together; I don’t need you; I’m the best thing since slice bread.”
Do any of those masks fit you? Or maybe there is one I didn’t mention? Whatever your mask might be, it can be hazardous to your mental and emotional well being. A mask can do one or all of the following:
- It can suffocate you, making it difficult for you to relax and be your true self.
- It can give you a distorted view of the world and vice versa. Others cannot see the real you behind the mask.
- It can cause you to miss out on opportunities that could be headed your way because you are so busy hiding behind your mask.
- It can keep you from living life to the fullest.
So, let me ask you, are you wearing a mask? This time, as your health coach, I’m advising you to take your mask off. Don’t let past hurts, disappointments, failures, whatever they might be, make you hide your true feelings. Become your true self. If you need help, or someone has told you you need help, take off the mask and allow someone to help you. Will you do that today?