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Covering or discovering?

Written by Amy Banocy

June 15, 2021

“We often think of a mask as something that conceals our identity. Yet contemplate the possibility that The Mask permits our true identity to be revealed.”

Meet my current masks: cancer. Vulnerability. My voice.

You’ve heard me say that cancer has been a gift to me. (I know, it still sounds strange to say, and likely to hear.) One of the gifts it has given me, is that of UNVEILING or SHOWING parts of me I’ve never allowed. 

In life, we all grow up playing certain roles. Nobody is to blame for these roles. They just happen over time and are likely based on our perceived life situations. Sometimes our roles serve as protection. Sometimes birth order may play a part in determining our role.  

My role has mostly been the peacekeeper. The happy one. The optimist.

Sometimes, these roles become so innate, that we condition ourselves to suppress other feelings, emotions, roles, to satisfy the one. For me, this has meant keeping my voice to myself, not speaking up for myself, because I didn’t want to rock the boat or cause any disagreement.

It meant not showing true emotions, such as anger, as they could be perceived in a negative way.

I’m not sure why it took cancer to do it, but I have this renewed sense of self, of worthiness and wisdom in my words and my opinion, in sticking up for myself and my beliefs. I have learned how to safely express what I perceived as negative emotions, such as anger, in a healthy way. 

It feels so good!

It feels so freeing!

It feels so right!

Perhaps it’s the badass bald look? 

Perhaps it’s that the work I’ve done over the years, allowed my cancer diagnosis to see through more things and it has removed a filter of sorts. It has allowed me to try on different masks and not be afraid. 

It’s not always easy. It’s vulnerable and can be scary at times. It’s growth. But that to me is a gift. And isn’t growth and learning what life is all about? 

What mask have you been wearing? Do you like it? Is it covering up the real you or allowing you to be fully expressive, honest and vulnerable with the world?

What mask might you be putting on others? How does that affect your relationship with them? 

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