Remove the Mask: The Flaw with Being Flawless

masked womanOriginally published on Rebelle Society at

We all seem to expend a huge amount of energy trying to conceal our flaws and the missteps we have made. Yet every single one of us has flaws and has done things they wish they had not. We all have our struggles with vices and slip ups that lead us down a path we wish never to see again.

Each of us knows that every person we see has a behavior they wish they had a better grip on or a secret embarrassment they want never to reveal. And yet we are terrified that if our own imperfections are seen, we will no longer be good enough.

Not being worthy is the biggest underlying fear of all. It makes us humans quake down to our soul to think we may not have what we need or want. We fear it so much we even get anxious about things we don’t have yet out of fear of losing them if we get them!

And so we all keep hiding who we are, how we feel and things we did in the past as if they aren’t there. If we aren’t proud of it, we push it down and ignore it. Most of us are taught to do this, yet no one acknowledges the false front we all put up. It becomes another secret that we just don’t talk about.

The real kicker is we do this so that we won’t feel judged by others. Then, when someone else is not so good at hiding their own faults, we judge them. We judge them for having human frailties and we judge them for not hiding it well enough.

Yet every fault, mistake and change in your life led you to exactly where you are right now. Maybe you don’t like where you are right now. But if you hadn’t been through exactly what you’ve been through, would you recognize that you need to do something different? You certainly wouldn’t know as much about which choices to make that might take you in a different direction.

Mistakes offer us new alternatives, new ideas and understandings about what we don’t want in our lives. They give us a new filter through which we can view our consequent decisions. Of course this works better if we really do something new; instead of mourning that things aren’t the way they used to be.

So what if we all told the truth of our lives? What if we all stopped pretending to be perfect? We could stop acting like we are the ones that have it all figured out. We could stop behaving as if we have never done anything damaging to ourselves or others.

Imagine how you feel when you hear about someone going through a difficult time and overcoming it. You feel touched and inspired. You feel like if they could survive such a bad situation, then maybe there is hope for you!

We all have these uplifting stories inside of us! These are the things we choose to hide so we can put on our “perfect” face. Why not let your struggles shine as a beacon to others? Tell not only how you fell down, but how you got back up!

Tell about the addiction you struggled (or are still struggling) with. We all have at least one. Yours isn’t any worse or better than anyone else’s. Tell about the things you lost in your life and what you did to survive. Tell how you went through times when you weren’t sure you would make it through to the other side. Let people see that you did make it. Allow them this look inside of you. Give them hope.

But don’t stop there. Don’t allow them to think you are now perfect and have all the answers. Allow them to also see the things you still struggle with.

Tell them how you are still learning how to understand yourself and the world. Tell them how there are days where none of it makes sense. Tell them how you sometimes cry for home, while not knowing where “home” is. Let them see that you are still finding your way, just like they are.

If we all did this, we could uplift others on their own path. We could shine a small ray of light where someone sees only darkness. We could breathe a small bit of comfort into someone’s world.

But we would also help eliminate the need to feel ashamed of who we are and the road we have travelled to get to now. We would uncover the truth—that we are all going through something. We are all trying to move a little bit closer to happiness every day. And sometimes we all fall down in the process.

Be a beacon for others. Show that it really is OK to be who you are. Demonstrate that we all have faults, make mistakes and go through endless changes. Allow them to see that these are gifts that teach us if we let them. Help them know they are worthy by knowing you are.