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  • Writer's pictureMona Cooley

Masking the Core Issues

While walking in the morning, my creative juices stirred and the words “MASKING THE CORE ISSUES” popped into my head.

When I hear words in conversations, some words stick in my mind, which often is telling me something. Masking is the word that popped first. What is the reason this popped into my thoughts? Because I feel this is what happens when we are struggling with issues; we tend to mask them by doing anything but talking about what is bothering us. We hold it inside instead of expressing what is felt. Imagine saying, “I feel horrible because I can’t seem to handle the pressure of the project I am working on.” Instead of saying how you feel, you keep bulldozing through the project. You get more frustrated. Then someone asks you, “I see that you are frustrated, what are you frustrated with?” Instead of being honest, you say nothing. Surprise! You didn’t fool the person who asked you about the frustration. You said nothing. Now you are masking what you are feeling instead of expressing what you feel.

What holds you back from expressing what you feel? It could be fear it will hinder your job. It could be the belief that I can handle it. It could be not feeling anyone will hear you. It could be you don’t want to talk about the real issue. It could be you haven’t been heard in the past so you think there is no use in saying anything.

The real issues are the core issues such as feeling inept, insecure, incompetent, not good enough, shame, guilt, fear of losing your job, not feeling respected, and the list goes on and on. Getting to the core issue brings relief. What is said on the surface is not the real issue when someone is frustrated. When asked what you are frustrated about and you say NOTHING, this is the surface issue. Come on! There is something if others already noticed it.

If you don’t express what you are feeling and thinking, are you masking the feelings and thoughts by burying them? How is this working for you so far? I have witnessed people holding what they truly felt inside of them. Then their feelings come out as anger, shutting down, ignoring what is happening, feeling more anxious, depressed etc. What do you do to mask your true feelings and thoughts? Be honest with yourself. Your body, mind and soul are telling you.

Facilitating sessions for over 20 years, group participants give the surface comment by sharing the concern they have with their loved one. The concern can be, “He lives in his room and won’t join us for dinner.” The focus usually is on the fact that he lives in his room and everyone works to get him out of the room. Focusing on the “he” is the surface issue. Notice the twist when you ask this question “What is your biggest fear about the fact that he won’t come out of his room and join you for dinner?” All of sudden the emotions start happening and the family admits, “We don’t know what to do and we are nervous he is not doing well.” The mask is starting to be removed when the emotions erupt. It is okay to cry, express what you feel and strongly express your frustration. When this starts to happen, relief washes over the body and a sense of thankfulness that the truth is out in the open prevails. MASKING THE CORE ISSSUES eventually comes out in emotions such as anger, conflict, resentment and reacting not responding. Lift the mask. Ask yourself – what is the real issue what I am feeling?

Are you ready to take the mask off, dig to pull out the core issue, be honest with what you feel and allow relief to come? When you feel the relief, you will know it and you will want more of it.

10-week sessions in Calgary are starting Thursday, May 30 from 7-9 PM. Signing up to get relief, live a happier life and have more energy, is this important to you? It is your choice to get the relief or continue with what you are doing hoping it will change.


Would highly recommend anyone to take these sessions. These should be offered in schools, workplace, and home! Check out the website, read the blogs. They are truly there and care to help you! Seriously!

Doreen Hortness

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