What's Behind The Mask?

“You can always see the little girl or little boy in another, if you but look.
And then you can see that the mask they sometimes wear
isn’t to inspire your fear, but to hide their own.”
- James Dooley

The Power of Acceptance is this month’s Body Presencing Key that unlocks a life of health, wholeness, and vitality. I realize the word acceptance means different things to different people. Some people believe acceptance is about giving up and giving in. Others think it means indifference and detachment.  Some people believe acceptance means allowing someone to continue doing something hurtful or for a negative situation to remain as it is.

Yes, there is power to accepting people and things as they are; just as they are. But not from a place of giving up or giving in or from a place of indifference.  The kind of acceptance I am referring to comes from a place  of authenticity.

Is there something you have been avoiding seeing in yourself or someone else? Is there a relationship in your life that you wish were different? Is there a situation or a person that you think needs to change? I guarantee you the first step in making those desired changes is to accept the person and the situation exactly as they are. In doing so, take a minute and let that suggestion rest quietly inside of you somewhere. There is no hurry.

“You can always see the little girl or the little boy in another, if you but look. And then you can see the mask they sometimes wear.”  It might be your mate, your boss, or your father who is wearing the mask. As a child perhaps you were afraid of your father.  He could be cold or aloof or difficult. You have spent your life wishing he were different or things were different between the two of you. The distance of the coolness stays between you two. Like a wall the mask is always there between you.

Then one day, you look at yourself and see that you also wear a mask and find it difficult to be close to your child or children, friend or partner. You know you wear the mask out of fear and this knowledge suddenly allows you to look at your father differently. Maybe he too wears a mask to cover his pain or fear.

This kind of breakthrough is only available if you have first accepted your father just as he is and admit that it isn’t your job to change him. Once you accept this truth, you can look behind his mask and yours. Your father suddenly becomes just a man with struggles similar to the ones you to carry in your life. By accepting him as he is, it allows something to change and move between the two of you.
Acceptance allows the limits to shift and for the possibility of something different between you. This understanding takes time. Sometimes it takes years and decades. But it is available to us all.

Being truly present to yourself, your life, and your relationships is only possible if you have learned the art of acceptance. Acceptance begins with yourself; for what we cannot accept about ourselves we judge in others. Accepting yourself and others as they are happens in its own time.  Take your time with this powerful idea. Some locks take longer to turn, but eventually the door swings wide open. Leaving behind the pain and the judgment (of yourself and others) and allowing a new story to take flight may not come easily, but it will come.

Shift Your Story: Guided Visualization/Meditation

Take a comfortable seat and let you feet feel the ground in front of you. Close your eyes. Breathe deeply several times and then ask yourself :  Is there something you have been avoiding seeing in yourself or someone else? Is there someone in your life you wish things were different between the two of you?

Again take your time. Once you know who or what you are having trouble with, imagine just accepting them (and yourself) exactly as you are. Is that even possible? In doing so, just let this acceptance rest inside of you. Feel where it rests.  Take your time with feeling and seeing how things change inside of you regarding yourself or them. Does something feel different? If so, where do you feel the change, in your stomach, in your head, in your heart, in your shoulder? It could be anywhere. Our bodies hold our feelings. The acceptance is that this is exactly how things are right at this moment.  This is just the beginning of your journey with yourself or this person in this regard. One step at a time, one day at a time. Today’s limits may not be tomorrows.

 I recommend listening to my Body Presencing Wisdom words which I post each week. Go to my web site, www.bodypresencing.com. Click on About Gail and scroll down to Media Page. Click on Body Presencing Wisdom, and just sit back and listen! The words are designed to give you tips towards a soothing and healthy lifestyle; one of acceptance!


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