During the Corona pandemic (Covid-19), putting on layers of masks during that long period seems like a pain for some people. But figuratively speaking, many of us do this every day when we hide our true identities or feelings by suppressing our thoughts or behaving in certain ways. Some of these masks we like and some we don't. Some we have to wear in order to live with life, and others - if I may say so - we wear them voluntarily and are afraid to take them off.
Of course, hiding your true self can be healthy, but when hiding is an essential and permanent part of your work or life, something is seriously wrong. Just as a surgical mask cannot be worn 24/7, metaphorical masks must eventually be removed.
Some people here might think that hiding your face protects you from other people's judgments. But it doesn't have to be. Think about how it feels to be in a place where you don't know anyone at all. It is true that in many cases we feel compelled to hide our true feelings, especially when they are negative. So if we realized how comfortable it would be to get rid of the masks or those masks associated with the Corona pandemic once and for all. However, our emotional masks are another matter.
From here, we must realize that we can all hide and reveal that mask in healthier ways than we are used to, through several rules, including for example by taking a break from yourself, so you see that good vacations make our responsibilities and our unrelenting schedules stop for a short time until we can rest without being disturbed by our obligations.
In fact, I firmly believe, that one of the best ways is to remove your mask around those you love most, because they are the closest to you and those who truly love you, especially as we realize that your most important relationships require - the ones in which you invest the lion's share of your time and energy, whether personal or professional - Being able to be yourself. So imagine with me that you are in that mask for 24 hours a day. Something must be changed here..... or is it not?
And so this brings us to a very important point, which is to make sure you love what's behind your mask - if you know what I mean - as stressful as keeping a mask on can be, letting it fall can be a terrifying prospect if you don't particularly like what it's hiding. Perhaps you are ashamed to bear the anger and hostility, or the sadness that you hide inside. Indeed, in such cases, staying masked or wearing that mask means that we lose the opportunity to face reality and make some positive changes. In a way, self-acceptance can reduce anxiety and protect your mood against setbacks.
Finally, you can get rid of that mask and change the personality traits that you don't like in yourself, but doing so requires honesty and conscious intervention. Don't let your metaphorical mask separate you from yourself, and from the love that exists between you and others because it is undoubtedly what you need and deserve.
Dr Yousuf Ali Al Mulla is a physician, medical innovator and a writer.