This picture means so much to me, it’s hard to explain to you. The reason why it means so much is that it was taken in the summer of the year 2014, during the week I spent on a retreat where for the first time in a year I emerged from the darkness that had claimed me. Somehow during that week I was cured from depression that had been holding me in its claws every day for a full year.
One of the main reasons I was cured, I believe, is because for that one week I promised myself to let myself be completely free. I was going away to a place where I hardly knew anyone but which also felt relatively safe. I thought that was my chance to test my theory that what’s causing my own great depression is the fact that I never let myself be myself. For a long time I’ve been caring much, much too much about what other people thought of me. And it was killing me inside, being so scared to be myself I ended up wearing a mask that radically misrepresented me as a person every single day for years and years. I’ve never felt such peace and joy in small things like the nature, cooking, cleaning, talking to people as I felt in that one week where I told myself: I’m not going to pretend one little bit. If I want to say something, I’ll say it even if it might sound strange or ridiculous. And somehow for that one week I found it so easy to connect to every single person I met. Because I didn’t let myself care. I loved freely without asking to be loved in return. Like Keala Settle in “The Greatest Showman” I said: “This is me”, and I’m not going to apologise about it. Oh how I wish that I could live every single day of my life in such peace and clarity.
I don’t know what purpose this post might serve, but if you’re in that dark place right now that I was in four years ago, maybe this is something you can try. Find a safe place for yourself and let it all go, at least for a week. Maybe you’ll discover something that’ll change your life and pull you back into the light.
We wear much too many masks in this world.