What masks will you wear today? We all wear them. You know the “fine” we reply when asked how we are? When we are really exhausted, in pain, stressed, depressed, barely hanging on. We disguise our feelings or circumstances. Not completely honest or authentic. We gloss over the surface, don’t show our true face.
Some masks may be necessary for social norms, etiquette, and moral obligation. In the workplace, around new acquaintances, out of respect for authority. I am not suggesting that we need to share our feelings and circumstances with everyone. As Jesus girls, we are called to be Christ-like which calls for some restraint. We are called to be honest, but to do and say everything in love and with respect and honor. So some “masks” may be needed to shield you and others.
The problem comes when we wear these masks too often, too long or for the wrong reasons. If we wear them to fit in or to manipulate. Wear them out of pride, in fear of opinion, or at the cost of compromising our beliefs and core values. If we start to lose the real you because we’ve worn too many masks or worn them too long.
Some poetic* thought on masks. Why we wear them. How to take and keep them off.
(*As I began to compile and edit for this post, I realized much of it was written in rhyme. As I tried to revamp, God continued to give me poetic rhymes over and over again. This is way out of my comfort zone and not usually how I think, but I am choosing to be obedient. So if poetry is not your “cup of tea”, check back next week. I don’t intend for this to be my typical format for posts, but we will see what God has planned.)
The Masks We Wear
What masks will you wear today? What will you hide? What will you not say? The farce, the fraud, the “fine” and the fake. But oh, what a toll on your soul this will take. We force forged smiles with shaking resolve. We’ve lost our identity. Who I am. Whose we are. We’ve hidden so long. Kept real you contained. Tucked away our big ideas. Our dream locked in chains. Camouflaged to be accepted, so in the group we remain. Would they recognize real you, much less like her? Who knows? Scared, fearful of rejection, if the real you shows. Concealed and convinced you’ll never fit in. Not sure where phony stops. Where real you begins. We portray picture perfect, a performance, a part. All the while real you stashed away in our heart. We say, “Be authentic.”, “Be true to yourself.” But in the midst of our life, put real you on a shelf. We want genuine from others, but don’t give it ourselves. We post our perfections. Put on a good show. But what’s behind the mask, the curtain? Only we know. We shine the spotlight bright on what we want seen. Making sure we hide weakness, flaws, and needs from the screen. Other’s lives we watch. Through filtered pictures we scroll. Envy, jealousy, want, lack, emptiness digging a hole. We must remember at all times, this is not the whole deal. We’re only seeing the surface. Top moments. The highlight reel. When the enemy tries to use this to divide, distract, destroy, and to steal. He deceives us with lies of “if only…” or there’s greener grass. “Why me?”, “You’re the only one.”, or “I’m trapped in my past.” Do you really want her life? Are you certain? You sure? Did you think for a minute, she might really want yours? We don’t know her whole story. Haven’t walked in her shoes. If you knew all her masks, which life would you chose? No one’s life is perfect. No fairy-tale story. No life without trials, struggles, or worry. Our lives perfectly imperfect. All to bring God glory. No need to compare or try to compete. We are each one of a kind, all made unique. Knit together in intricate fashion, Filled with destinies, dreams, talents, and passions. You were born at this time, in this place, for a purpose. A God designed, Kingdom reason. Of this I am certain. No copies. No forgeries. No duplicates please. Authentic, original is what the world needs. You be real you, and I’ll be real me. Not sure how, when, why we got here - all these disguises. No matter. Let’s drop them. No more compromises. How do we shed all the masks? Stop the masquerade? First revive real you, the one fearfully & wonderfully handmade. Make God’s Word, His Promises, His Truth your declaration. Ask God to forgive you for denying His unique creation. No more hiding who God made you. Stop comparing. No more shame. There is peace. There is joy and hope. There’s relief from the strain, When we know who we are in Christ and resting in Him, remain. With our sisters in Christ, let's drop these masks once and for all. And, not if but when, we are struggling or hard times befall, May we first ask Father God to help us stand and be strong. Then find, call, or text a sister to pray. To help us along. If a sister shares her issues, let's not gossip, judge, or condemn. Keep in mind tomorrow, you might be THE prayer "needing" friend. No more fake "fine", masquerading, hiding our weakness in shame. Remember and remind each other we are unmasked, unchained. Freedom bought with the blood of Jesus. God sees us clean, Beautifully bloodstained.
“Authenticity is the daily practice of letting go of who we think we’re supposed to be and embracing who we are.” – Brené Brown
What are your thoughts on masks? Any ideas how can we help each other to take and keep our masks off? Post your response in the comments below.