We are NOT the Somebody we Present to the World: Giving up our mask

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Sunset Watching
 photo credit: Zach Dischner

When we believe our mind-made story about who we are, we become someone who thinks we’re THAT somebody. We invest our whole attention on building and living out that story about who we are until we convince ourselves and those around us that we are indeed the mask, the false idea of a self, that we wear.

The mask we wear, called the persona, is not our true selves, but more a collection of false beliefs that require us to acquire defense strategies to protect us from the self-deprecating notion of who we have come to believe ourselves to be. Another way to say it is that we unconsciously create a costume that effectively hides (and thus protects) us from being seen for the limited version of a self we think we are. Our life focus becomes about trying to compensate, medicate, or hide this self that is not really who we are in the first place!

But it is the “me” we present to the world. And because this persona is who the world sees, it too believes this is who we are. Much to our dismay and misery!

Believing our mind-created story about who we are makes us miserable. We become obsessively focused on how the world is affecting (mistreating) us, and fail to see that we teach people how to treat us by the facade we hide behind. For instance, if I'm afraid you will see the scared, inadequate part of me, I hide her behind a competent, bossy air of superiority, which is off-putting by design, but convinces you that I am unsafe. Therefore, in your own effort to protect yourself from me,  you may be more likely to treat me disdainfully … which in turn, proves to me that I am right to be scared of you!  This self-defeating cycle results in unhappiness: we find ourselves suffering from frustration, depression, resentment, anxiety, as well as suffering a tremendous dose of feeling phony because we KNOW we are not who we are masquerading ourselves to be.

We end up feeling beat-up by life, thinking thoughts like, “They’re trying to hurt me,” “Nobody likes me,” “People don’t treat me right, etc.” Such thoughts perpetuate our limiting stories about the somebody we think we are; they hold us captive in our false, but severely limited identity.

The truth is that this story we believe about us is a mind-fabricated illusion. It is a defense strategy that covers the Authentic Self – which we may never know, unless we come to terms with the mask we wear.

This other self is real. It is us as we were created to be, that remembers who we are beneath the layers of a falsely made self. It is that part of us that simply observes the unhappy stories we so dramatically take on as being who we are with compassion and detachment. This Authentic Self is often referred to as the Observer-self; I call it observer consciousness.

The observer self is the one behind the mind-created and false self. This authentic self is our Source-implanted receptor site – that eternal aspect that we are each born with that serves as our internal “honing device” for the purpose of aligning us with Source; it is the part of us that knows we are not the somebody we profess, but a true emanation, instead, of Source.

Growth in consciousness comes as we learn to live more from observer consciousness. Through it we learn to trust our connection with Source so that we allow Source to flow through us. We learn to be moved by THAT energy (Source) rather than by the somebody we think we are.

Giving up the mask, or persona allows us to align with what’s real and is a critical part of achieving the inner peace that comes with realizing the Reality of who we are instead.


2 Responses

  1. Hi Evan,
    The difference in these two aspects of self can be found through the litmus test of reality. We experience these two aspects as distinct and separate parts of us by their qualitative difference.

    When we question the unhappy thoughts we’re thinking and find the belief/story behind it we notice this other aspect of us – this witnessing presence that observes our thoughts without judgment, but with a mild curiosity instead.

    Sooner or later we are tempted to ask, “Who is this behind-the-scenes observer who observes and questions, and who is this other – the one who is “telling” and believing the unhappy story? Which one leaves me feeling best?

    But you’re right, Evan, it is all a story – which means we are left to believe the story of our choice. For me, I choose to invest faith in the one that leaves me feeling most connected and most at peace.
    Why would I chose anything less?

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