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False Personas, Masks, and Manufactured Selves

Sometimes after really "getting" Divine Openings, people tell me they hardly recognize themselves, that they have to take some time to get to know and live into the new person they now find that they are. So much of who they thought they were was not real - it was learned, conditioned, constructed, layered on top of their true self, or manufactured.

If ones chooses to really let go, to feel their feelings and stick to Divine Openings, all falsity can fall away, and it's very liberating.

Many times people find that they were doing things for reasons that now no longer make sense. The wife finds she got married because she was supposed to rather than because it fulfilled her inside. The tech person who was burned out finds their judgments about the corporate world and their resistance to it was just some idea they picked up that "corporate is bad". They go back to the corporate world realizing it's all in how you vibrate. The "hard worker" finds he was living his dad's values and working himself to death in order to be a "good dad".

The healer often finds she no longer truly desires to "fix" people for a living, once she's liberated, and that her heart now desires to go out and live and do something more joyful. She discovered the "serious mission" to save the world was something she had picked up from New Age books and teachers. It wasn't really her own heart's desire. It no longer makes sense in her new paradigm where nothing is wrong, and it's all a created reality. Before, when she was in suffering, she saw a world of suffering. Now she doesn't.

There's an upside and a downside to the fact that we get to "create ourselves". It's really cool when we decide we want to move into a whole new phase of life and be someone else, or do something new, and we have the full, unlimted power to re-invent ourselves. I often joke about the many lives I've lived in this body. We live long, expanding, evolving lives now. Many of us don't stay the same, or do the same work our whole lives. Hopefully as we expand and grow, we express and live into more and more of who we authentically are.

It is very productive to start to rehearse, dress, and act the new part you want to play. That helps you move into it in a very real way. (Of course lining up the vibration is primary, but the physical steps help yo do that.) If you want to be a top salesperson, start dressing the part, interview for the "part", study sales methods, and act more outgoing. If you want to be a fitness instructor, get in shape, take fitness classes, hang out in that world, dress the part, practice in the mirror, and begin to imagine yourself in that role.

When we create false personas that take us farther from being our authentic, feeling, natural selves rather than into more authentic or expanded versions of ourselves, it's not so wonderful.

Why would anyone create a false persona? Fear is always the root cause....
.... fear that we won't be valued for who we really are
.... fear that we'll be hurt if we put our real selves out there
.... fear of what people will think if we're not who or what they think we should be
.... fear of not fitting into societal norms
.... fear of not being good enough, worthy enough
.... fear that we need to be better, more spiritual, more something, or less something to be loved

False personas cause a lot of suffering for the person who's not being authentic. It takes massive amounts of energy to hold that mask together. And eventually it cracks. You've seen people try to be on best behavior to impress a new love, but after a while, they can't keep the illusion going, it just takes too much energy, and their true self begins to show through.

I like to bring things down to practical terms, so here are some examples of false personas. If you need to shed one, perhaps it will reveal itself to you now. When you let it go, and become more your authentic self, you free up massive amounts of energy that you can use for more joyful and expansive purposes:

  • Trying to be more spiritual, perfect, positive, or non-judgmental without authentically feeling it and vibrating it. Better to be flawed, human, and authentically who you are, rather than some Frankenstein of a saint that isn't real.
  • Being too nice or good, just to please people.
  • Being too tough, distant, gruff, or macho, to protect yourself.
  • Being any kind of clone of any social group, clique, cult, club, or group. Dressing like everyone else in a certain strata or group. Examples: tattoos, piercings, hairdo's, fashions that copy others who belong to that subculture. Basing identity on certain toys, cars, professions, or neighborhoods.
  • Playing occupational roles that take over the real person.
  • Trying to fit into societal, cultural, or religious expectations that aren't authentic.
  • Being a slave to gender roles. Example: Being gay or bisexual, but can't face what people would think or say, so pretend to be straight.
  • Projecting the false image to friends and family of the perfect couple, wife, husband, father, mother, daughter, son, etc.
  • Doing charity work or good deeds to look good.
  • Being what parents or spouse wanted, when it isn't fulfilling.
  • Taking on affectations of mystical or healing powers, in order to feel more special and worthy, or to get attention and validation.
  • Playing the classic tragic starving artist, musician, writer, etc. because it's believed that's part of being a true artist.
  • Acting like all the other kids, guys at the office, girls at the club, etc.
  • Being over-sexy, or too caught up in being perfectly beautiful or handsome, thinking that's what's necessary to attract the opposite sex.

For anyone trying to relate to the person with the false persona, there's an uneasy sense that something is not quite right - there's a gut feeling of mistrust. Some people are so good at false personas that it shocks people when they find out what's underneath it. 

A friend of mine described one such false persona as "creepy". The man she was referring to tries so hard to be what he thinks he should be that he comes across like Tony Robbins on steroids. We love him, but he's putting an enormous strain on himself, and I don't think he knows where the tension is coming from.

Another friend always acted positive and upbeat, and talked of big dreams and big plans. But the vibration under it was not authentic, and her world recently fell apart. Faking positivity doesn't cut it. You have to feel it, and Divine Openings helps you feel it authentically. And helps you drop false personas, some of them so old you didn't even know you had them until one day you saw them clearly.

One more positive example and I'll close. When I started singing, I definitely and deliberately started stepping into that new role, re-inventing myself to include that new aspect that was emerging. But I created it authentically, from the core of my own being, as if felt right to me. I consciously decided not to take on any elements from the collective consciousness, and the usuall beliefs about the music business. I deliberately did not choose the usual path of paying dues playing ill-paying small gigs, sacrificing for art, and living the "stereotypical musician lifestyle".

The music comes from deep inside, and isn't trying to fit into any preset popular style. As a matter of fact, it spans many genres, and it gushes forth however it wants to, with no limiting boundaries of style. I do it for pure pleasure, and the fact that others enjoy it is a mere bonus. The way I'm doing it is authentic to me. It's not someone else's version of it. It's my reality.

Quickly, the right people were attracted, and things fell into place relatively easily, and they continue to expand and evolve as we speak.

One friend co-wrote/produced with me for awhile, but he was mired in his old paradigm, and wasn't interested in letting Divine Openings blast him out of it (I didn't suggest he did either - he knows it's available). That fell apart after a few months of wonderful beginnings. Overlapping that dissolving partnership, a more experienced and accomplished musician/producer, more of a vibrational match with me, showed up. There wasn't even a hitch in the flow. Since he'd taken the 5 Day Retreat with me, we blasted off very quickly into marvelous creations. Check out our new release: <ahref="all-lola-jones-music">Watch Where You Point That Thing. You can listen or dance to it!

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What if you thought of yourself as a wave or a position instead of a thing? Oh my, life would be so much more fluid.
Rob Brezsny, Pronoia