When you meet someone new have you ever noticed that they seem to change, sometimes a little, sometimes a lot over time? It is something that I have encountered time after time, with almost all of my friendships and relationships. How do you approach every new encounter with a person? Do you approach each as a long lasting friendship or do you look for something else?
I will tell you that I approach each encounter with the conscious thought that I am building a life long relationship that is going to stand up to the length of time. I have friends from middle school that I still talk to to this day, I have friends from the Navy, College and beyond. But, with each and everyone I have had to overcome the masks that they present to the world. Everyone of us do this to some extent or another. This is the face that we wear out in public, it is what the world see first. These masks help us feel secure and only show the portion of ourselves that we want others to see.
Now, by me saying this I am not saying that this is a bad thing. It isn't, it is our coping mechanism with the world at large. However, when you start to get to know a person truly, you begin to see the real person behind the facade that they present to the world. In order for the relationship to stand up to the rigors of time, we must not only reveal our true selves to the other, but we must come to accept the other for who and what they are. We have to accept their likes, dislikes, and idiosyncrasies. We must love ourselves and must be comfortable enough with ourselves to see and accept ourselves and others. This is not easy to do sometimes, and sometimes it is hard to turn off the mask that we wear.
What ever happened to "What you See is What you get?" Some people have reached a level in their lives that they can incorporate and elaborate on their true inner self and that is the mask that they wear. I learned this a long time ago working for Disney. You are not to ever have a problem, when you are anywhere a Guest can see you, a smile should be on your face. You never let a guest see you upset or down, you never let the magic fade. The mask that I have perfected is that of complete happiness and positive disposition where nothing or no one seems to bother me, I try to never utter a harsh word about someone or criticize too much because that isn't my way. Yet, those who know me and take the chance to get to know the real me the one who hides behind the mask, they find that at times I do have moments of despair, times of depression, I also get overwhelmed at times and I cry sometimes. Yet, my mask that I put out to the world is who I have become, these moments are short in duration and help me to reach out to others and help them with their problems and concerns.
My mask has given me the strength to overcome my pitfalls and weakness. I strive to maintain a positive outlook and I pray constantly for guidance and wisdom. So, what is the point that I am trying to make here?
It should be obvious that the old adage "Never judge a book by it's cover" is what I am trying to emphasize. Don't rely only on first impressions, because the person behind the mask might just be the person you are looking for. You should remember that God brings people into our lives for various purposes. It is my contention that there are 3 types of people that continually flow in and out of our lives. These are Teachers, Students, and Confidants. You may never know until they have left you which one they were....or what combination they were...so if you take the time to get to know everyone on the same basis of building and maintaining a permanent or long standing relationship you will definitely benefit from their wisdom, they might benefit from yours, or you might just find the person who you can always rely and depend upon.
But you have to get past that first initial mask to find the real person hiding inside, and if you are not looking for anything more than a friendship, you will soon find that you can see the real person hiding behind the mask. Take the time and get to know everyone and approach them exactly the same and you will see what I am talking about.
Remember, from friendship comes trust, from trust comes understanding and from understanding love can take root and grow. I have heard it say time and again, that if I get involved with you it will ruin our friendship. What a cop-out that truly is, because guess what if you are friends to start with how can being with someone intimately damage that friendship..you will say when the relationship ends it would ruin the friendship. Well if you have truly built a relationship built on trust, friendship and have really gotten to know the real person why on earth would that relationship end, and if it did for a reason of betrayed trust or other reason, I can tell you that time will heal that wound and you will realize and miss the friend that you had and reconciliation will begin. This is not to say that the intimate relationship can be restored, it is telling you that if you never take the risk and see where it could go, you will never know and you could miss the opportunity God gave you to meet your perfect mate.
Keep an open mind, look behind the mask, get to know the person, develop that friendship and the relationship that follows..it might lead you to your perfect companion and mate or it could bless you with a new best friend. You never know. The future is hidden from us.
I beg you to take a chance. Let your mask go and let the world see the real you...Like me you might find that you aren't too different from the mask you wear. People will see the real you, they will accept you, they will be glad they met you.
Here is an example of what I mean. A friend of mine who I was very close to in high school read my status on Facebook left a comment. First she asked me how do I manage to stay so positive and focused when so many things are happening with me. She then told me that she found our yearbook from 26 years ago and that I was caring and so positive even back then...she told me that I am truly blessed and an inspiration. See the real me the man behind the mask is not so different from the who I truly am...the one slight difference is I don't ever let the whole world see when I am down or hurting, however, those who know me get to see those aspects that I keep hidden. This doesn't weaken my position it actually strengthens me and proves that I am human. But because of the persona I have adopted I never stay down for long and bounce back.
I hope to continue to be an inspiration to others, I hope to live my life as an example of how having a positive outlook and a positive attitude can and will bring more positive energy and blessing in to our daily lives. I pray that you have patience and approach every new encounter in the spirit of love, kindness and friendship, that you can learn from what I have written.
Let me hear from you....I want to hear your thoughts on this....If this truly helps you let me know and if you think I am totally wrong I want to hear it too.
May God Keep you and Bless you....
As always my hopes and dreams are with you,