Who Am I? Revisited

Do not be fooled by me.
Do not be fooled by the face I wear,
For I wear a mask, I wear a thousand masks.
Masks I am afraid to take off.
But none of them are me.
But do not be fooled. I give you the impression that I am secure,
That all is sunny and unruffled with me,
Within as well as without,
That confidence is my name, and coolness is my game,
And that I need no one. Don’t believe me,

My surface may be smooth,
But my surface is my mask,
My varying, ever-concealing mask.
Beneath lies no smugness,
No complacence.
Beneath dwells the real me,
In confusion, in love, in fear. In hope, in truth, in beauty. In raw, naked emotion. In loneliness. I idly chatter with you in the suave tones of surface talk.
I tell you everything that is really nothing,
Of what’s crying within me.
So, when I am going through my routine,
Please do not be fooled by what I’m saying.
Please listen carefully, Try to hear not what I am saying,
But understand what I am not saying,
And listen to what I would like to be able to say,
What for survival I need to say,
But through fear,
I cannot say.

Only you can call me into aliveness,
Each time you’re kind, and gentle, and encouraging.
Each time you try to understand because you really care,
My heart begins to grow wings.
Very small wings, very feeble wings, but wings.
With your sympathy and sensitivity,
And your gentle, quiet understanding,
You can breathe life into me,
This I want you to know and understand. I want you to know how important you are to me,
How you can be a creator of the person that is me if you choose to.
Please choose to.
Do not pass me by.
It will not be easy for you.

My long conviction of worthlessness builds strong walls.
The nearer you approach me, the blinder I may strike back.
I fight against the very thing I cry out for,
But I am told that love is stronger than strong walls,
In this lies my hope.
My only hope. Who am I, you may wonder.
I am someone you know very well,
I am a hurting member of your family,
I am the hurting person sitting beside you in this room,
I am every person you meet on the street.

Please don’t believe my mask,
Please come behind it to glimpse the real me.
Please speak to me, share a little of yourself with me,
At least recognise me.
You might just catch a glimpse of who I am.
Because you care. © Ryan Price 1999-2010

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