PLEASE HEAR WHAT I’M NOT SAYING
Don’t be fooled by me, don’t be fooled by the face I wear. For I wear a thousand masks, masks that I’m afraid to take off and none of them is me. Pretending is an art that’s second nature with me, but don’t be fooled; for God’s sake, don’t be fooled.
I give the impression that I’m secure, that all is sunny and unruffled with me, within as well as without, that confidence is my name and coolness my game; that the water’s calm and I’m in command, and that I need no one. But don’t believe me. Please!
My surface may seem smooth, but my surface is my mask. Beneath dwells the real me in confusion, in fear and aloofness. But I hide this. I don’t want anybody to know it. I panic at the thought of my weakness and fear of being exposed.That’s why I frantically create a mask to hide behind, a nonchalant, sophisticated facade to help me pretend, to shield me from the glance that knows. But such a glance is precisely my salvation. My only salvation. And I know it. That is, if it’s followed by acceptance, is it’s followed by love. It is the only thing that will assure me of what I can’t assure myself – that I am worth something.
But I don’t tell you this. I don’t dare. I’m afraid your glance will not be followed by acceptance and love. I’ am afraid you will think less of me, that you’ll laugh at me, and your laugh would kill me. I’m afraid that deep down I’m nothing, that I’m no good, and that you will see this and reject meSo I play my game my desperate game, with a facade of assurance without and a trembling child within. And so begins the parade of masks. And my life becomes a front.
I idly chatter to you in the suave of surface talk. I tell you everything that is really nothing, and nothing of what’s everything, of what’s crying withing me: so when I’m going through my routine, do not be fooled by what I’m saying. Please listen carefully and try to hear what I’m not saying, what I’d like to be able to say, what for survival I need to say but what I can’t say.I dislike hiding. Honestly! I dislike the superficial game I’m playing, the phony game. I’d really like to be genuine and spontaneous, and me, but you’ve got to help me. You’ve got to hold out your hand, even when that’s the last thing I seem to want. Only you can wipe away from my eyes the blank stare of breathing death. Only you can call me into aliveness.
Each time you’re kind and gentle and encouraging, each time you try to understand because you really care, my heart begins to grow wings – very small wings, very feeble wings, but wings. With your sensitivity and concern, and your power of understanding, you can breathe life into me. I want you to know that.
I want you to know how important you are to me, how you can be the creating of the person that is me if you choose to. You alone can release me from my shadow-world, of panic and uncertainty, from my lonely person. Do not pass me by. Please do not pass me by.
It will not be easy for you. A long conviction of worthlessness builds strong walls. The nearer you approach me, the more blindly I strike back. I fight against the very thing I cry out for. But I am told that love is stronger than walls, and in this lies my hope. Please try to beat down those walls with firm hands, but gentle hands; for a child is very sensitive.
Who am I, you may wonder?
I am someone you know very well.
For I am YOU!
Yes this is the me calling you