Look down at yourself right now. What do you see? Your clothes represent something. It’s a message you wish to give to the world. It might be “look at me”, it might be “I’m such an intellectual” or it even might be “I don’t care about fashion” but you chose what you wear based on how you want to be perceived by others whether it happened contentiously or not. Of course, it is not only a matter of appearances. Clothes and hair might say something but it’s also body language or even the use of verbal language that defines that first impression we’ll make on someone.
Although it is perfectly natural, in some periods of our lives we can get a little mixed up, confusing the image we want to create with the people we really are, hopping that if everyone sees us in a certain way, we will eventually be that person. We never leave our homes without putting on a mask, so… does this mask become a part of us?
There is nothing wrong with wearing a mask. It is not something someone can easily avoid. But the question I want to ask is, does that mask start to become some kind of oppression in our routine? We feel exposed and embarrassed if we take off that mask for five minutes or if we let it break a little on the edges. The question always stands: How do others see me?
Jacques Lacan, an important French psychoanalyst of the 20th century, talked about the Mirror Stage in the life of each person. Briefly, the Mirror Stage comes when a baby first recognizes themselves in the mirror. In our minds, our-self is is a mess of thoughts, emotions, instincts and experiences, that leads us to a strong shock when we realize that the way we look does not include any of that. We look so put together when we really are a mess.
The fact that either way we are not seen as we are, leads to a desire within us for creating the identity we would like to have. The mistakes happen when that identity is not based on your true self. For example, if you were a person who hates math but you chose a science career because of the prestige of it, you would end up living a miserable life and being bored of your job. Sometimes we make a serious mistake: we settle for what we imagine as the perfect identity, forgetting to ask who we really are. As a result, we never know what truly makes us happy and we end up chasing the happiness of that identity instead of our own.
Embrace that mess inside your head. That’s the real you. Don’t let it cause you fear just because it is not as pacific as what you see in the mirror. Get in touch with your inner self and build your outer identity based on your chore likes, dislikes, needs and characteristics. That way you will truly shine because everything about you will be sincere. People might be afraid of honesty a lot of the time but it always stands out and there’s no one who doesn’t love person who is true.
have a magical evening,
by Elena Ktenopoulou