22 Feb

Behind the Mask

Yesterday I had the pleasure of running a Find YOU, Find LOVE workshop with some amazing people.

The subject of friendships as relationships came up. In fact we talked about the different kinds of relationships that we experience through life, some good and some not so good.

When we think of the word ‘relationship’ that may for some conjure up a relationship with a significant other, husband or wife, partner etc though in truth there are so many kinds of relationship you can have.

Think about the following relationships and mentally tick off all the ones relevant to you. Are you a:

• Wife
• Husband
• Partner
• Lover
• Parent
• Sister
• Brother
• Aunt
• Uncle
• Grandparent
• Cousin
• Niece
• Nephew
• In-Law
• Step relative
• Friend
• Neighbour
• Colleague
• Boss
• Team Leader
• Employee
• Ex –Wife, husband, partner etc

This list is just a few of the possible relationships that you might have.  When you think about how many people you come into contact with on a monthly basis you might be surprised at just how many people you have a relationship with.

Well let’s get back to the subject of friends. What’s interesting is that when we are with friends we often feel totally free to be our real selves; we can show up in a bad mood, without make up, with our honesty, with our pain, with our fears, with our truth. We know that our friends love us unconditionally whether we are in good mood, a bad mood, with or without make up. They just accept us for who we are and we them.

So what is it that stops you from being the real you when you are in a relationship with a significant other. This might apply to family too?

Throughout my work as an emotional health, love & relationship consultant this has become a regular theme that so many people wear a mask, they hide their real selves in ‘significant other’ or bloodline relationships, much of it coming down to needing to be approved of, accepted and loved. There is often a fear that if they are their real selves that they will be rejected, abandoned, disapproved of or unloved.  Many of these beliefs were formed in childhood but are in fact no longer relevant as adults. We just don’t know that, we still operate from the younger part of ourselves believing that it’s not ok to be who we are.

Somewhere along the line you may have learnt that you have to put others before yourself, that you had to be perfect ‘by someone else’s terms’ to be loved, that you have to be happy and considerate all the time that you have to say yes to others and no to you.  Often our whole world is built upon who we think we need to be instead of who we are.

Why not be all of who you are in all relationships, not just your friendships?  

So ponder this for just a moment:

• When are you being nice and when are you being real?
• What’s the consequence of not being yourself in ALL your relationships?
• When you deny who ‘you’ are who suffers?

It’s time to start being more of who you are and less of who you’re not. Take off the mask and set yourself free, free to be all of who you are!

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If you need some help in understanding why you have been playing small, why you might find it hard to speak up in relationships and why you’re afraid to be honest about your thoughts and feelings I offer a range of support programmes go to www.wendyfry.com

workshop dates for year ahead http://www.merlinsdiary.com/events/view/15060/find-you-find-love-workshops.-