If you want to live a wholehearted life, there’s one question it can be helpful to think about. 

The question is this:

What masks do you wear?

What do I mean by mask?

Your mask is whatever false self you might sometimes put on to help you feel safer in the world.

It’s like a wall that we built up around ourselves.

Jung called it the Persona.  In Depth Hypnosis, we call it the mask.

The mask tends to develop in adolescence.

You might think of it as an inflated, pumped up version of yourself that you hide behind when engaging with the world.


We develop the mask to protect ourselves.  It’s like a defensive shield we erect to conceal our core vulnerabilities, to prevent us from being hurt again, the way we were when we were young.

The cause of these vulnerabilities is the wounds we experienced in childhood.

Maybe you experienced some form of abuse, and you have trauma as a result.

Maybe your parent was narcissistic, and just never seemed to see you.

Or maybe the wounding was subtler – parents who met your physical needs, but neglected your emotional ones.

In any case, the result was the likely the same – around adolescence, you built up an inflated, idealized self to hide behind, to avoid being hurt again.

The mask self can take many forms.

Were you the PLEASER?



Whatever mask you may have developed for self protection, you can be sure of this:

The only way to stand fully in your power is to meet and embrace that core vulnerability that lies beyond the mask.

To be truly empowered requires 

1)  Rediscovering the parts of you that are raw and vulnerable.  That person who was hurt all that time ago, what was s/he needing?  What message does s/he have for you now?

2)  Healing the places where you got hurt.  Holding those wounded, vulnerable parts of you in the light of loving awareness, and re-engaging with them as the adult you are now, with the power to meet those unmet needs and create new patterns of thinking, being, and relating.

3)  Re-integrating those healing, vulnerable parts of you so that you can stand strong in a wholeness infused with ALL that you are.

So, this question – What masks do you wear?

When it comes to inner growth, it can be a starting point, and a key.

Write about it.  Talk it through.  Take it into your meditation.  Take this question out for a walk.  Up a mountain.  Down the street.  Live this question, and see what it brings you, up from the deep. 

And then, if you’d like to go deeper, and to read something that might help you identify which type of mask self may be most active for you, I recommend the book The Undefended Self by Susan Thesenga.  It’s a dense read, but it’s packed with valuable insights for inner development.

Wishing you the best in your healing journey, and if you’re looking for one on one support, please don’t hesitate to reach out.

This kind of deep work is what my one on one practice is for, and I’d love to support you.

With care,


P.S.  The ideas expressed in this blog draw upon the body of work known as Depth Hypnosis, as developed by Dr. Isa Guicciardi, PhD.