"People in Masks" - mixed media on paper. 16" x 12". Available on Artfinder.
Fezzik: You be careful. People in masks cannot be trusted.
from The Princess Bride
Oh Fezzik...such wisdom. Obvious, perhaps, but wise nonetheless. How many people do we know in masks? Well, probably not too many wearing actual masks, because that would be strange. But people who cover up who they really are, what they really want, how they are actually feeling?
Honestly, that's likely everyone we know - even ourselves.
It's awfully hard to be 100% authentic in the world. In some cases, for some people, it is downright dangerous. I mean, this isn't the most tolerant of societies at the moment, and the wrong word, the wrong action can spark a fire which maybe can't be put out...or burns down the relationship before it is ultimately doused.
But the key, perhaps, is finding the level of authenticity that allows you to live your one wild life in the world in a way that respects yourself and those around you. For some of you, that might mean reining it in a little bit, in deference to your neighbor who doesn't appreciate your daytime backyard naked booty dances while their children are on the trampoline. For others, maybe those like me who were raised in an incubator of secrets and/or shame, that balance might mean being more open and removing a mask that is no longer needed. One my favorite role models for living authentically is the artist Patti Bryan. You'll know from the first conversation you have with her...she is all real, despite an upbringing that gave her every reason to be otherwise.
Luckily for us, the masked person in The Princess Bride was none other than Westley, the most honorable of characters, who had to play the part of the Dread Pirate Roberts to save his own life. And let's face it, who doesn't like a pirate?