How can I be more my authentic self after years of masking who I am?
All people mask who they are to varying degrees. It really doesn’t matter if you are worse off than others in this regard as long as you’re willing to unmask yourself. Meditation is the way to do this.
In my case, I suffered from strong feelings of inferiority. I hated myself, I didn’t think I was good enough, I was weak, and I was incredibly ashamed of myself. So I did everything I could to be confident and strong, and to hide my inner turmoil from others. Sometimes it worked, and I appeared confident and happy. However, most of the times it didn’t. And no matter if it worked or not, it was always painful. I knew that I wasn’t true to myself and that my acts had no real meaning. Behaving in this way could never be a solution. I was just running away and avoiding. I began to feel a horrible agony inside of me.
I especially remember one day. It was in the spring of 2013, and I felt completely miserable and desperate. I looked up at the sky and screamed out “God – help me”. I wasn’t sure if I believed in God, but that’s what I screamed. A few months later, I picked up a brochure for a meditation center and started to meditate. I don’t know if there’s a correlation between my desperate screaming and the meditation, but that’s what I like to think. Especially since it turned out to be a life-saver.
The meditation allowed me to look back on myself. I could see how much stress I had inside. How nervous, fragile and broken I was and how I constantly was battling with the pain that it caused me. I was carrying around a horrible secret that I needed protect and hide at all costs.
Meditation gave me a tool to finally face myself. I discovered that the masks I had put on to hide the underlying inferiority and shame was like a layer (for the lack of better words) in my mind, almost like a computer program with its one rules and perception of reality. When my mind was operating from within this layer, I was in a constant battle and pain. However, by realizing it was only a layer and that it didn’t reflect reality, I was able to get a handle on it, see it from a bigger perspective, and start to let it go. Within me, I began to sense a relief. Underneath all the crap I held on to, there was something nice and peaceful. I’ve come to understand that that is the core of every human being.
I continued to observe and explore my mind. I allowed myself to see and feel all the pain inside. I became aware of the patterns of my mind and how it affected my behavior. I saw how much resistance and battle there was inside. As I started to see this, I could discard it from my mind with help of the meditation method. The more I discarded, the more I could allow myself to just be what I was. I stopped looking for approval, respect and admiration. I surrendered. I let myself fall and lose. Gradually, liberation entered my mind. I could be honest to myself and others. I stopped putting on a show and allowed myself to be me just me.
I have now meditated for almost a decade, and I have changed a lot. I have become much more authentic, honest, and accepting to myself. I feel light and happy inside. I can also see a natural confidence and strength. Without the meditation, I don’t think I could live a good life.
Meditation means to see and let go
The core of meditation is introspection and letting go/discarding. It’s not difficult, but needs to be done over time. Sit quietly and look at your mind honestly. See the times when you covered things up, when you lied, tried to show off. Become aware of the underlying fear or shame. What were you running from? Let the fear and shame come to the surface without pushing it away. By doing like this you start to take off your masks.
For the best result, I recommend that you find a meditation center that teaches you the full method of how to systematically empty your mind. It takes time, effort, and patience to discard the masks, but it is truly worth it.
Please take a minute and check out the video below. It describes how you can cleanse your mind with meditation.