“Taking Off The Mask” Magnets For Sale

My “Taking Off The Mask” Magnet is 3″x1 1/4″ and is $5 including shipping. You can buy it here. 

The magnets were delivered a week ago, but I had to figure out how to write about them, what exactly they meant to be before I could sell them.

I took it as a message to myself.

It made me think about the masks I’ve worn throughout my life. The parts I’ve played, the people I’d become in order to be liked, loved, and accepted.  Beginning as a young child with the family I grew up in.

I can still remember when in my mid-forties, I had the idea that instead of finding people I wanted to be friends with and ingratiating myself with them, I’d be who I was and let friends find me.

Recently my therapist was trying to explain to me that it was me who had the power in my relationship with the family I was born into.  That I was the one who left them.  As my great fear is about being drawn back into the family, this came as a kind of revelation to me.

How did I not know it?

Even as I was asserting my power, I was at the same time giving it away.  I didn’t want to take responsibility for what I had done.  For my decision not to see them.

But hiding only made me more frightened. I was lying to myself for reasons I still can’t articulate.

The thing is,  taking off the mask, doesn’t only happen once.  Just we change and grow and we give birth to ourselves again and again, we remove one mask after another.  Layer after layer, getting close each time to the essence of who we really are.  The truth of the more desirable and the less appealing self.

But at least it’s the truth.

Is it cruel for me to not visit my mother even if I am doing it to protect myself?  Maybe, but if I decide it’s more important to protect myself, then I have to accept that I can be cruel.

And off comes the mask.

What I’ve found is that as hard as it sometimes is to see and accept the truth, even if it still feels bad, it always feels better.

The woman in my drawing is in the process of taking off her mask.  I think because, it is like I’ve said, something that happens again and again.  And sometimes we take off the mask only to put it back on again.

It’s a choice.  A part of living, of changing, of growing, of being.  And for me, my drawing of Taking Off The Mask is a reminder of that.

My Taking Off The Mask magnet is 3″x1 1/4″.  It is $5 including shipping and you can buy it in my Etsy Shop.  Or you can email me at [email protected]. I take checks, Paypal and Venmo.

18 thoughts on ““Taking Off The Mask” Magnets For Sale

  1. Your vulnerability is a strength. Sharing this and all the other deep inner shares, is showing your power.
    This is truth.
    I honor, respect and acknowledge all of this.
    The magnet is powerful

  2. Maria,
    Beautifully written and deeply resonated with me. I sometimes thought of my cover as armor and it is sometime. It is also beginning to break open, especially around my heart. And your drawing and description of masks brought out another way I hide from myself and others. Thank you for speaking your truth and vulnerability with such courage and strength. When we say our story out loud, it makes a difference to ourselves and our journey. And it makes a difference to those who show up and listen. Thank you, with deep gratitude, Carol

    1. I know what you mean Carol about the armour. And it probably has protected us when we needed it most. But then letting it go when we don’t need it anymore, if we can get to that place, that’s hard to trust. Thanks for your thoughts as usual, they make me think deeper.

  3. Reaching out isn’t a one-way path. You left them because they wouldn’t or couldn’t give you what you needed and you’ve grown because of it. Do they reach out to you? Do they understand why you had to leave to grow? They could call you, write you or perhaps visit? Do they appreciate who you are and what you’ve become? If not the failure is theirs. Not yours.

    1. Well Barbara, you’ve said that with such confidence and directness and now I can even hear your voice and see your face. Knowing you are a wise and complex woman, makes your words even more powerful.

  4. Oh, Maria. The many masks we women have put on, for the sake of “belonging” or “safety.” Then to find out eventually, hmm, that mask itches, or hurts, or feels wrong, or makes us angry, or doesn’t keep away the bad people. We take them off, and live this new but scary way and then when we are spooked for some reason, we put one or more of them back on. Then we remember, we can’t go backwards, and now it’s way more uncomfortable to us than it used to be. I am just becoming comfortable with being uncomfortable with the new layers I discover, once I remove yet another mask. I don’t feel it’s cruel not to visit your mother; my counselor has said to me that even though we are all victims of victims, (as your mother may have been) we are still responsible for the consequences of our behaviors. My MIL is a bitter and critical person, who has no filter, and says anything rude that comes to her mind. Just because she is 93, and was treated the same way by her parents doesn’t give her a pass from being kind. So, I don’t see her hardly at all. And I feel no guilt.

    1. So well said Karla. This thing comes to me as a drawing and I try to make sense of it and so many other people already seem to know. Your words are truth. Thanks for taking the time to share them here.

  5. I wish I could put a mirror up in front of you so you can see your super powers. I only say the following from my own experience , but I believe the “cruel”part is someone else’s perceptive not necessarily yours. You are not cruel for not visiting your mother. Again, I don’t know you so what I’m saying here is just my reflection from my own perspective.

    1. Ah KJ, I think you may be right. I’ll have to think about it more. I always helps me to think of what I would say to friend if she told me what I am saying.

  6. Maria…I love this sticker. What an insightful story it tells for many of us. In my journal, I have a quote I copied some time ago. I don’t recall where I read it, so I’m unable to credit its author. But it is “Don’t show up in pieces. The parts that people seem to easily accept. Show the fullness of who you are”. And it occurs to me now that those who judge are wearing their own masks. Thank you! I just ordered some!

    1. Wow, Kathye, that’s such a perfect way of thinking about it. and of course you are right those who judge have their own masks to deal with. Thanks for your insight and sharing your thoughts. It’s a wonderful quote and I will think of it, and probably use it too.

  7. so beautifully expressed. I believe also, that we are healing layer by layer. I can’t imagine our psyche could handle it any other way, so in some ways it is gentle with us in that way.
    Sometimes I feel like that mask is protective too – as a way of setting a boundary around those that may not understand us – but perhaps serves as a protective layer for our hearts.
    I do believe, though at times have questioned it too, that we do get the family we do in order us to stand in our truth – even if they don’t understand or ‘get us.’
    It’s truly so inspiring when others, like yourself, are able to do this deep inner work. I really believe it helps shift the planet in a positive way – one person at a time.

    1. Right Barb, that idea of protection is so relevant. Then there comes a time when we don’t need that protection anymore. I’m foamier with that idea that we get the family we need. I can see how that would work in terms of evolution. Since I don’t have children to pass this on to, my blog helps me to express on my experiences. Hmm… I hadn’t thought of it quite like that before. And I know you are doing that inner work too.

      1. I understand that in regards to not having children, as I didn’t have them either. My way of expressing myself in the world similar to yours with my books, blog, art, etc. Perhaps we’d not have had this opportunity had we had kids?
        It’s interesting for me in that this past summer I’ve finally accepted that my role in this life was not to have kids (though I’d have liked to have them, but I’d suppressed sexual trauma so deep for so long, I THOUGHT I didn’t want them and then I had to grieve that).
        For me, I realized it’s how I broke the pattern of our parents being wounded, thus we were raised with that wounding, plus our own. Doing the inner work has helped me shift those patterns and because I didn’t have kids, I didn’t pass that on.
        Not sure I’m making sense, but I am in my own head. 🙂
        At any rate, such a deep topic with many angles and insight to be gleaned.

      2. I think my whole life would have been very different if I had children Barb. If at all as you suggest. There is a line in Anne Patchett’s book The Ductch House, where one character referring to childhood says “she would never want to do that to someone she loved.”
        I’m glad you’re in a better place Barb. And I’m sorry you didn’t get to have the children you wanted. But glad you are doing the work you do.
        About making sense, yes, I know just what you’re saying. I’m so grateful I didn’t have the opportunity to pass on my “shit” to child.

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