There has been so much controversy regarding, "Masking", in the our country recently. Should we protect ourselves? That really is the purpose of a mask? What kind of mask should I get and how should it be used. Can I wash it? There are all kinds of masks we can use and one type in particular keeps us from being seen. Just as there are all types of masks there are also many and varying types of courage. Some people are not afraid to walk around without a physical mask to protect them from a deadly virus, and some people have courage to take off the mask that keeps others from knowing what is in their heart and soul. By now, I am sure that you know in this post that I am not talking about the mask that prevents us from getting a virus but the one that we use to keep us isolated and prevent others from really knowing us. The mask that keeps them from seeing our true beauty, imperfections and vulnerability. One of the things that we have all realized over the past months has been related to how difficult and painful it is to be disconnected from each other. Disconnected from the people we love and even disconnected from ourselves due to the incredible stress that many of us have been feeling. Too frequently we go through our daily lives lacking transparency and fearful of being open and genuine. Yes, we need to have a social mask but sometimes we need to let the mask down or take it off for a while, particularly when we want to develop intimacy. Of course we can have a lovely smile, we can say the appropriate things, we can nurture others and make them beautiful dinners, and yet we can remain isolated and lonely because no one really can see what is behind the shield that hides our vulnerability. Many studies over the years have clearly demonstrated that we are neurologically wired for connection. How do we develop a more intimate connection with others, and what keeps from being connected in a more satisfying and meaningful manner? We might discount the idea that we are socially isolated or be in denial, however, the data suggests differently. The degree to which we have addictions, depression, suicide, anxiety and aggression, correlate with social isolation. Will the pandemic change the way we relate to others and will we want to be connected in a more meaningful manner as a result of our suffering over the past months?
To Mask or Not to Mask
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