[an earlier version of this post was published as “full heads” on 11/15/12.]
it’s been said . . .
“the face is the index of the mind.”
politely asking directions of a stranger . . .
relaxed and laughing with a close friend . . .
feeling angered at a perceived slight . . .
distinct facial expressions in each instance.
different days? sure.
different emotions? absolutely.
different faces? well, yes.
but was she a different person in each situation as well?
compartmentalizing herself into neat little boxes each time?
/ / / / / / /
we all have our collection of masks that we carry around with us.
some we are unaware of, like when something unexpected catches us by surprise.
others we spend time perfecting, like when we put on a “brave face.”
is what’s beneath your visage a consolidated self that you recognize?
or are you a divided personality,
struggling to make sense of your surroundings and your place in them?
what if we were to integrate the various faces we display in public?
what if each of us were only one face instead?
what if people knew what to expect in their dealings with us each and every time?
hmmm . . . something to consider.
would that make us less interesting, less mysterious?
or would that make us more of an integrated whole?
could you still say “i’m uniquely me,”
and be free to experience and express all of your emotions and thoughts?
or would you become a same-mask-robot, conscious of each move you made
that wasn’t completely aligned with the way you perceive yourself?
to eloquently articulate who we are and what we are all about,
to have a solid hold on what distinguishes us from the rest –
that’s what we want, right?
you know what i think?
i think it’s a matter of semantics.
i don’t think the faces that others see are really that crucial.
i don’t think we need to be tethered to anyone’s idea of who we should or must be.
i think what’s important is knowing ourselves.
inside and out.
knowing what makes us humanly relevant.
searching for and pulling out that core.
that essence of our existence.
which faces do you unveil to the world?
are they real?
or are they artificial?
it’s okay to present more than one face.
as long as all of those faces are consistent with your one authentic self.
maybe you’re not quite there yet.
“i’m still figuring out the design of my life.”
“i’m still carving and molding.”
“i’m still a work in progress.”
my son’s artwork (pictured above) was still a work in progress at that point.
but eventually the partial face became a full head.
we’re more than just faces.
we’re thinking, feeling beings.
with unbounded explorations to make, with daring lives to lead.
always searching for the courage, the creativity, the confidence
to be our true best selves.
we’re “full heads.”
heads full of thoughts and feelings and decisive actions.
adding to our internal frames, the armatures that support us, each and every day.
the integration of self.
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do you think it’s necessary to always present your genuine self to the world?
or is it enough to simply and privately embrace who you fully are?
as always, i would love to hear your thoughts.
please leave a comment below.