By chance, design or necessity we have all created a variety of masks for navigating the complexities of life. Some masks are effective and important to enhance our experience. Consider the self we put forth at a job interview; we strive to project confidence and hide whatever anxiety or insecurity we might be feeling. Some masks, on the other hand, are limiting and inhibit our expression. Often these masks have been developed to cope with challenging situations. Consider the child who has to deal with a critical parent; donning the mask of invincibility was a good idea at the time but unfortunately over time we forget this mask is a coping strategy and it gets fixed in our psyche. It served us in the past, but now, it limits our capacity for being intimate with others.
Mask making may also be used to embody disavowed parts of our selves. Due to any number of circumstances, perhaps we don’t feel comfortable in being self-advocating. We hesitate in expressing our opinions or defending ourselves, or we have ambivalent feelings about manifesting our vision for our lives. Or perhaps, parts of ourselves have not developed fully. We yearn to let loose with our inner artist or musician, or, perhaps we have leadership talent that has never gotten the encouragement and mirroring we may have needed.