mardi gra mask

The other day I was celebrating my good friend’s birthday and we went into a costume store to try on some Masks. We were having a really good time trying on ones with feathers, ones you tie behind your head, ones you hold onto, ones with tons of sparkle, different colors, etc. All of which gave us different looks depending on the mask we tried on. Later that evening after looking at our pictures and remembering the fun filled day, I got to thinking about people wearing their own masks in everyday life.

Have you ever met someone who when you met them they were fun, outgoing, nice, sociable  (their “going out” mask) then when you start to get to REALLY know them it seems like that mask flies off and you start to see their true colors? That recently happened to one of my clients. To the world her friend treated everyone one way and then behind closed doors would talk and gossip and demean the very person they just saw! It threw my client for a loop! She didn’t know 1) how to deal with this person now with this information and 2) if she really wanted to still be associated with them now that she saw the Mask come off.

Let’s take it from a different perspective. Are there Masks that you may wear in your own life? Perhaps you are a collector of Masks, both figuratively and/or literally. Why do you feel that is? What is it about the Masks that comfort you or why do you feel drawn to them? In my own life, my family had a wall of Masks, literally from all over the world. They were beautiful, exotic, and each had their own story associated with them. It wasn’t until things got “rocky” that an “Ah-Ha” moment showed up and the Masks were a part of the way things were dealt with and portrayed.  To the outside world it was one way, peaceful and serene, on the inside it was a rollercoaster full of huge ups and downs that created weird actions and responses that never made any sense. It wasn’t until the literal masks on the wall were taken a look at that the figurative Masks changed and started to be removed. I feel that sometimes we may require the Masks to keep us safe but I also feel that we are here to be our true, authentic self and in order to really be in that moment, that present moment, we must take off all the Masks. I know for myself that when I am my true authentic self, yes I have moments of sheer brilliance right next to moments of feeling like I want to fall on the floor and roll into a ball. That’s part of the human experience. We are all human, experiencing the world through our own lenses. Some of us have many Masks and it seems like we keep collecting more, others of us are peeling off the Masks and dealing with them one by one.

If you are one of the later, I congratulate you on doing the work. It isn’t always easy but knowing what has transpired in my life after the removal of Masks…I wouldn’t change it for the world. It is well worth it! Keep it up and know that there are people who love you regardless of which Mask you are working to remove right now and others who will probably leave your world because they choose to keep their Mask on and you just will no longer be able to relate to one another. That’s okay because the direction you are heading and the people who will show up in their place will be worth the work.

I applauded you. Give yourself credit. You deserve to be Mask Free!

With Love & Gratitude,

Shay Wheat


Love StandUpAndLead and want to participate?

Post a note, take a picture, and e-mail your story to Each note goes up on the site for thousands of others to read and enjoy! :) Be one to make a change in the world… it starts with YOU!