It wasn’t too long ago when I uncovered a major obstacle for me to living a more peaceful, loving life. I realized that achievement was driving my life, not only for me but for:
Achieving isn’t bad but it is how I was out of control with it, the overachiever. For me it was a weapon against myself as I found out. It was controlling me. It was a mask for me. I thought I had to be perfect. So if I could only achieve more I would finally be successful, be valued, be more appreciated, and on and on. In the end nothing in the outside world could give me the peace and love I wanted.
What are you running from, hiding behind? In Debbie Ford’s Why Good People Do Bad Things book, she talks about how masks - the overachiever, the bad boy, good girl, people pleaser, the quiet snake, the bully and others- are used to cover up shame, insecurities or ego wounds.
In order to find peace you have to expose your mask. How scary is that! You have to be willing to own and accept all parts of your humanity, to face the fears that are driving you. It’s worth it.
Most people have not accepted their weaknesses, flaws and shortcomings as a natural part of life. Afraid to ask for help, often these qualities are made to mean something is wrong with you. Then you work really hard to keep these parts hidden or deny they exist which causes them to gain more power over your life, and more shame and guilt are added, year after year. Finally, before you know it, something explodes – illnesses, divorces, addictions, or something else goes haywire, you self-sabotage your life. Debbie calls this the Beach Ball effect, you are exposed. The ball pops up to expose the conservative preacher who was against gay but had a long standing relationship with one, the governor who spearheaded efforts against prostitutes is found with one or hitting your son in a raging situation. What is waiting to pop up for you?
The challenge, and the opportunity, from these painful situations is to wake up from the cover-up that is preventing you from living your authentic self, the life you love. Doors can open once these wounds are exposed to walk into a more loving, peaceful place when you make the crucial decision it has to be different.
All the good deeds in the world won’t wipe out the damage that goes unattended in our own backyard,” writes Debbie Ford.
You are born to soar, to achieve and to grow, not live hiding or in pain.
Free Yourself. It starts with unraveling your masks.