We as humans can't get through any kind of time span here, without getting dinged up a bit...hurt actually. We learn early that a human shell is the only way to survive. The only way to protect our spiritual Self, within. Over time, we begin to live two lives. The one we show the world, and the one we protect, and only reveal when we feel safe. The problem is, really feeling safe, gets harder and harder as we age, when it logically should become easier. It's a case of knowing too much about human behavior. We exchange people really knowing us, for being brave, calm, stoic and the go-to person. Over time, since we can't be who our spirit actually is, even with those we consider "family," we begin to construct a shell that has all the complexities that we know our inner spirit has. We start to customize the exterior, like the outside of a car that protects the otherwise simple motor inside. We buff it, paint it, coat after coat. We add details that are purely for decoration but give the shell an alluring (or menacing, or tailored, or sexy) attitude. We do such a good job that people take us at the very face value we've worked so hard to layer with enough complexities to make it believable.
But maintaining it puts a lot of stress on ourselves. It zaps our already marginal reserves. Soon, we find ourselves resenting the fact that no one really understands us when it's us who intentionally created an impenetrable veneer, and were delighted that everybody bought it so that we could hide behind it.
The only antidote is to begin constructing an identity that's a bit closer to whom we really are now, versus who we were when we created our first public image. Remember, everyone, without exception gets a do-over. We as humans we’re built to withstand far more change than we think. Just because we’re adults doesn’t mean our learning curve is over, and our first adult impression is fixed. Not by a long shot! We remain the same when we should be changing and evolving, because our egos get in the way and our need to be accepted at any cost, often blinds us.
Our entire journey here is to do as much experimenting with our free will as we can. Otherwise, why were we given it and then so much time to mess around with it? Choose, see what happens, and then refine those choices as we learn more about ourselves. As we learn more, we’re suppose to be continually taking stock of yourself. What are the aspects we want to drop and what are the aspects we still feel strong enough to protect or are finally ready to begin revealing now?
If we want to (or are prepared to) start showing our softer more vulnerable sides then we must be willing to risk cynicism. We must have a kind and reasonable comeback rather than a defense for the change in our character. Because people hate when we change no matter how good it may be it will no doubt elicit commentary we're not prepared for. Therefore, it can hurt us when we venture out with a new version of ourselves. If we voice something uncustomarily sentimental and someone starts playing an air-violin, we can't let it shut you down. Turn it into a teachable moment. Perhaps something like, “Aww, am I being too nice? Does kindness offend you? That’s all right; you’ll get used to it.”
In the end, Shakespeare was right. “All the world is a stage and most mortals, only actors upon it.” We will always have two faces, the spiritual one, and the human one. The trick is to begin focusing less on individual’s opinions and more on humanity itself.