As we continue our series Drop the Mask, your March challenge is to begin loosening the emotional mask that has been acknowledged and purposed in our previous discussions.

“What you resist persists. Until you deal with your feelings, you will be stuck with them.”

The process of acknowledging that we have been wearing a mask to hide our emotional difficulties from the world is a difficult task. We often find ourselves justifying the need to be inauthentic in order to protect ourselves from hurt, harm, or danger. If we are to subscribe to psychologist Carl Jung’s belief that “what you resist, persists”, then in order to experience relief from distressing emotions we must first address with them. This can be done by making a conscious effort to identify situations where you notice the mask is present and challenge yourself to reduce those occurrences.

Begin by looking at the purpose of the mask that you identified last month. Does the mask go on at work to help you get through the day? Does it accompany you to the gym or happy hour to help you manage social situations? Or maybe you find yourself wearing it all day, only to be removed once you have finally climbed into bed at night. I challenge you to look for patterns in your behavior. Become more self-aware by setting aside time to journal the emotions you feel throughout the day.

When you are ready, begin to loosen your mask by studying your list and select which emotion(s) you are willing stop masking each time it appears. Remember: until you deal with your feelings, you will be stuck with them!

For many people, the process of dealing with emotions that we have historically resisted experiencing can be overwhelming and downright scary. If this is your situation, I encourage you to seek the assistance of an appropriately licensed professional to accompany you on this journey. Visit www.BrooklynMFT.com to learn more about our confidential services designed to help you Drop the Mask and start the healing that begins when our emotional wounds are exposed, cleaned, and protected.

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