We all wear masks. Some more elaborate than others. I realized I was wearing one as I matured and became open to people. They would look confused or shocked at me saying, “Really? I had no idea you struggled…ever!” I noticed it would happen as I got to know other women, pushing past their façades. And you know what happened after those revelations? I was able to love and be loved better!
This concept is bigger than the morning news anchors wearing no makeup, or the Dove campaign of showing some regular sized models. Taking off your mask is exposing your heart and allowing intimacy. Removing your mask allows us to fill a hole deep inside of us. Once you learn how to take it off, you will learn that it’s hard to put back on.
Years ago I read Julie Slattery’s book, Beyond the Masquerade: Unveiling the Authentic You. One of the chapters is titled, “Wholeness Requires Brokenness” and it reminds me of how mask-wearing keeps you from living life fully. On the womenofgrace.com blog, they describe what you rob yourself of when you live life behind the mask.
Christian Accountability – If I never let anyone know that I am struggling – I deny other women the opportunity to share their tests and trials with me. I deny other women the opportunity to be encouraged by my tests and trials.
Wise Advice – If I never let anyone know that I am having difficulty with something, I deny myself the possibility of good advice from mature women of God.
Prayer – If I never let anyone see the real me, what kind of prayer covering will I have?
Acceptance – If I only offer bits and pieces of me to others, where will I draw acceptance from? Yes, God accepts you, but whether we admit it or not, we need to experience acceptance from the Body of Christ also.
This is an area that you cannot simply read a blog and walk away with enough to change. It will require a second step. I would recommend the newly reprinted book Grace for the Good Girl: Letting Go of the Try-Hard Life, by Emily Freeman. (Emily’s book has been the subject of several blogs and great reviews recently!)
Kat, the author of the Inspired to Action blog, tells about Emily’s book and her own experience as a ‘Good Girl’. She writes, “I didn’t think I was a “good girl” – I mean I’m a good girl, but I don’t think I tend to go to any particular lengths to please people. But as I read Emily’s book, I realized that while I might not try to please people, I do try to not need them….. “Good girls” have it all together and don’t need anyone.”
Yes – that’s the kind of “good girl” I am. And you know what? I am ready to “let go of the try-hard life’ and be “the authentic me”. Grab one of these books and a friend and let your masks come off so you can bless others with your WHOLE self!