Thursday, June 24, 2010

I Wear a 1,000 Masks -- And -- All of Them Are Me

“Author unknown” wrote a poem I discovered many years ago when I was doing psychotherapy, It was so painfully profound I often read it to my clients at workshops or retreats. It set a tone that invited genuine, heartfelt sharing, one of the major goals for these events, geared toward healing the “Inner Child” and relationships.

I used to explain what I did, professionally, by describing myself as an “Inner Child” therapist. That wasn’t precisely, 100% accurate. It was close enough; a way of using common-use language to build a bridge from me to another person. In actuality, I was a practicing psychotherapist trained, primarily, in the mode of psychology from which the theoretical concept of the “Inner Child” came.

The modality is known as Transactional Analysis (TA). And, my application of it was integrated with Gestalt therapy. The marriage of TA and Gestalt created a clinical treatment approach that seeks to heal psychological wounds by helping clients integrate the disenfranchised parts of the Self into a healthy Whole. It is a modality, however, that is also so much more than that – subjects for another time. The poem was an impactful piece that underscores the former intent.

I've had some insights about myself, over the years, prompted by this poem. They came to me, especially, in the past few years as I struggled to find my place in the mainstream world after my “trial by fire” (being blind).

It began –

"Don't be fooled by me. Don't be fooled by the face I wear. For I wear a mask. I wear a 1,000 masks that I am afraid to take off and none of them are me...."

For me being blind was very much a shamanic death and rebirth experience. That was how I chose to hold what I was going through. My return to the mainstream world from that endurance test brought me to realize that in significant ways – all of the 1,000 I wear are ME; parts of me that make up my Whole Self.

This blog is -- in many ways my best attempt to date to weave these masks together to present my Whole Self in the world. My wish is that my effort would invite others to join me on this blog in the celebration, the dance under the full moon, that emerges simply by “naming” what we think and feel. Naming, at least, shines a light on the masking that is a doorway to our Whole Selves.

If you -- as a reader of this blog – don’t yet, however, understand how my postings are all parts of me that make up the one Whole that I yearn to share more fully, I hope you will make comments and ask questions about what I am posting here. I am believing that the effort on your part can lead us on a shared journey. In other words, please don’t just be a spectator of my adventure. Come along and travel with me.

From the mountain where it is hot and muggy today.

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