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What face do you wear today? - Ed's journal
What face do you wear today?
Have you ever noticed how people can seem different in different company and environments? You know, in some situations they're a gossip, or a practical joker, in others they're serious and quiet.

There's a word. "Persona". It's losely defined as one's image or personality.

Thing is though, it's essentially a mask that we wear. Some days I'm Ed the bastard. Some I'm Ed the techie wizard. Some, Ed the Philanderer. Others, Ed the pyromaniac.

In measure these are an aspect of who I am. All incomplete, and all superficial.

You see, through our lives we build up walls. Defenses. These personae are a mechanism for emotional defense. We emphasise and hide behind an aspect of our personality. Everyone does it in some measure.

It's a way of presenting a superficial wall. We show people a little bit of who we are, because to let them know too much is to invite emotional injury - if you build the wall, the facade, the persona good and strong, then no one is going to get in and hurt you.

They're also not going to be able to get close enough to understand and know you.

It's a kind of emotional scarring. If you have an injury deep down, you build up scar tissue to protect and heal.

When we are young, we are soft and squishy emotionally. It's easy to hurt us emotionally. And it happens to everyone, because as a child one does not understand the hurt that simple thoughtlessness can cause.

Gradually we build up these walls and defenses. They serve an important role. The _really_ difficult part is to break them down again. It's quite possible to have your walls built so well, that the real you is hiding inside for years.

Without doing so though, you can never truly know or be known. I'm gradually beginning to understand that.

The thing is though, do we every truly want to know a person that well? There's no one who's perfect. No one without secrets, fears, irrational dislikes, things they are ashamed of.

To know someone well is a gift. But it has a price. Understanding someone well I think is the essence of Agape.
Starting to understand someone is friendship. As one learns more, that develops into love. To understand is to accept who they are.

It's easy to like or dislike a persona. They're just pictures on the wall, that to some are interesting and vivid, and to others dark and dull.

They are the illusions we present because we want to avoid the reality - that we might not be a very nice person. We grow up insecure, because we see all these wonderful pictures, and wonder if we can ever do that.

So I ask you to trust me when I say that inside, you are a good person. You don't have to present these false walls to everyone. It's a hard thing to do, to lower emotional barriers. Because one fears censure and rejection. The secret is, that everyone feels the same. And once that bit is out of the way, the real magic of life begins.

So maybe it's worth thinking about what face your're wearing.

1 comment or Leave a comment
lisekit From: lisekit Date: March 12th, 2004 07:24 am (UTC) (Link)
In a very simple example, there are some contexts in which I'm polite and diplomatic at all times. When I'm in charge of something, usually, in a position of responsibility. SO there have been several occasions when people have known me, literally for years, in one kind of context - as a teacher, or producer, or some kind of organiser - and then we'll spend time in a normal social context and they'll be astonished at my language. Like, really surprised. It is pretty *#@£ing errible language in some circumstances!
1 comment or Leave a comment