Two elder monks were sitting outside their cave when a student approached them. He asked how could he overcome his fear about what people think of him.
The one elder said, when I was young, I worried about what people would think of me. It was my pride and lack of wisdom that fed my fears. I kept telling myself I don’t care what people think of me.
The other elder said, it is true when I was young my use of humility was weak, but as I got older I realized no one ever thought of me. So I stopped worrying about it.
The question we need to ask ourselves is what keeps me from being myself? What makes me think the mask is better than the reality?
If pride and ignorance of ourselves prevents us from seeing the person God created and loved, we need to practice humility and pray for wisdom to understand our own goodness and value. Humility can be practiced by service to others. Wisdom, by listening: to the Word of God, to wise persons of faith, and to the Church.
Charles Foucauld wrote: “We gain more by letting our real selves be seen than by pretending to be what we are not.