A Beaver, that’s Me

Personality: persona = mask (Latin)

Am I a fake? Living behind a mask of pretense? And if “I” is defined by a personality, does it mean to say that I am living a life of an actor, unreal and untrue? Am I playing many roles at different moments to mask me from what I truly am? What is it that I am hiding, behind the façade of the mask? Why the need to hide and who am I hiding from? What is it like to come out from the mask? Vulnerable? Naked? Fearful?

I am not sure. But if that is true, I am surely living a life of misery. Have you seen a life of beavers in the National Geographic program? Always on the lookout whenever it comes out from its dwelling hole, lifting up its body upright with its front legs in the air, on the lookout for foes? Then it is back to searching for food but only for a brief moment – raising itself on the lookout again. I used to sense the misery of such living, when I put myself in the shoes of a beaver.

Can you imagine what it is like to wake up in the morning from bed and start almost immediately the mode of defense? As if life is a threat and we need to be in a constant mode on guard? I am sure this experience is more predominant in marriage life where codependency is on the grip. Our actions are cautious and not natural, always on the lookout of our spouse’s reaction to what we are doing, hoping that we are not triggering any emotions that may ignite a resistance, an argument or a fight. And when they are away, we’d feel a sense of relief that we can be as natural again.

But isn’t that what life is about, not just for married couples? The word “to survive each day” is already pointing towards the direction of making life work and that involves an internal fight of staying afloat – the dynamics of defend and attack to make sure that we are able to survive decently in life.

Our life may not be as obvious as a beaver in fear, but if we were to genuinely stay with the chattering of our thoughts, as much as we can, we can see that pattern domineering our lives. Our mask of pretense hides us from showing that fear, but each movement or action is already calculating to minimize attack from the external. Our movements are on defense mode – and that’s what survival is. It can be as simple as an act of leaving our house – we have to make sure that the house is properly locked. The same goes with the car which we have just parked.

Observe the mind authentically when we move around wherever we are. There is a need to look good, carrying ourselves to make an impression on others. There is the fight and flight syndrome, hovering in the mind. So automated to the extent that we do not know how to live a life naturally, except to defend or protect our vulnerability of being hurt.

Life is just an act, a lie, a fake, an imitation; a clone of ourselves all the time even though with different façade, to fit into the world. If this is occurring so consistently in the mind, we can be sure everyone is also in such a mode, albeit an unconscious one. We are fitting into each misfit, living a life for the world rather than for ourselves. We are all like walking zombies, doing time. Strangely we never query where it is going to lead us to, yet there is some kind of hope lingering at the background of our mind, that soon, very soon all this exhaustion will be over. But will it?

Has the little, little bit of happiness we gathered here and there make us satisfied? That it is a respite from the insurmountable fear pattern which lingers throughout our lives? Is there truly happiness except a relatively more subtle fear at the background, giving us a space of breather that we had defined as happiness?

Isn’t that what which makes freedom our greatest desire, and also our foe – when we are unable to reach it?

Another interesting insight at JournalingTruth: Authenticity

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