Recently I've been more introverted than I was over the summer. This isn't a bad thing. I need this. Some seasons call for exploration of self and interiority. During this season, I've become deeply troubled with the possibility of losing my "self". This sounds weird at first, but allow me to explain.
If I lose my car keys, I know within the hour. If I lose my charging cable, I'll realize that pretty soon too. But to lose one's self? How would I perceive that? It would be as quiet as fog rolling in from the hills. When I say "losing one's self", I mean that point where one wears so many masks that fit so well that authentic emotion and perception are faded and worn away. If I reach the point where I see from behind my masks, and only from my masks, how can I peer beyond them? How do I look through the fog and see the lighthouse?
I've realized that I like to present myself as an idea. I imagine a "me" who I want to be and I'll put that mask on. I don't pretend to be someone I'm not, this mask certainly has aspects of myself. But this mask is fractured. It only hides parts of myself that I'm uncomfortable with. Parts that I wish were different. I've learned that to hide behind this fractured mask is to be inauthentic to myself. It's OK to experience the deep crescendos that come with the ache of sorrow. It's human. It's authentic.
Some things cause a profound dread in me. I can't describe the feeling. Maybe it shouldn't be described, but experienced. I want to be able to take a step back from situations and feel my emotions. Experience the emotion not as something I am chained to, but to understand in my heart that negative emotions are part of the human condition too. If I get angry or filled with dread, I want to be able to step out of the emotion and feel it as part of my life, not part of a moment. To experience and perceive, not just react.
I'm not sure where this season will lead me, but I have no doubts that it will be filled with trials and emotions to experience. Certainly, the seasons I reap from the most are the most turbulent. I want to have the strength and authencity to put down my masks and experience things as parts of life that I can run towards. Not to exist as a passive bystander, but to live as a self and accept it.