An individual can always have the option of shielding himself by displaying such a tough persona. But at the end of his show where he acts as an actor, a director and a playwright all wrapped into one larger-than-life stage character, he finds himself susceptible to pains and frustrations just like everyone else.
In this Friday post, I’m sharing with you a wonderful reflective literary piece. Happy reading.
Please listen to what I’m not saying…
Don’t be fooled by me.
Don’t be fooled by the face I wear.
For I wear a mask, I wear a thousand masks.
Masks that I’m afraid to take off,
and none of them is me.
Pretending is an art that’s second nature of me.
But don’t be fooled, for God’s sake, don’t be fooled.
I gave you the impression that I’m secure,
that all is sunny and unruffled with me,
within as well as without;
that confidence is my name,
and coolness my game;
that the weather’s calm
and I’m in command,
and that I need no one.
But don’t believe me.
My surface may seem smooth, but my surface is my mask.
Beneath lies no smugness, co complacence.
Beneath dwells the real me in confusion,
But I hide this,
I don’t want anybody to know it.
I panic at the thought of my weakness
and my fear of being exposed.
That’s why I frantically create a mask to hide behind,
a nonchalant, sophisticated façade,
to help me pretend,
to shield me from the glance that knows.
But such a glance is precisely my salvation,
my only salvation.
And I know it.
That is, if it’s followed by acceptance,
and it’s followed by love,
It’s the only thing that can liberate me
from my own self-built prison walls,
from the barriers that I so painstakingly erect.
It’s the only thing that will assure me of what
I cant assure myself,
that I’m really worth something.
But I don’t tell you this.
I don’t care.
I’m afraid to.
I’m afraid your glance will not be followed
by acceptance and love,
I’m afraid that you’ll think less of me,
that you’ll laugh,
and your laugh will kill me.
I’m afraid that deep down I’m nothing.
that I’m just no good,
and that you’ll see this and reject me.
So I play my game,
my desperate pretending game,
with a façade of assurance without,
and a trembling child within.
And so begins the parade of masks,
And my life becomes a front.
I idly chatter to you in the suave tones of surface talk,
I tell you everything that’s really nothing,
and nothing of what’s everything,
of what’s crying within me.
So when I’m going through my routine,
don‘t be fooled by what I’m saying.
Please listen carefully
and try to hear what I’m not saying,
What I’d like to be able to say,
What for survival I need to say,
But which I can’t say.
I dislike hiding.
I dislike the superficial game I’m playing,
The superficial, phony game
I’d really like to be genuine
But you’ve got to help me.
Youth Encounter Facilitator’s Handbook, Virac Model, 1993 pages 68 – 70.