I don’t like masks. I never have.
I’m not sure where it started. Possibly from the clown masks we wore for Halloween so many times when we were kids. Did anyone else think they were creepy?
We had the homemade clown costumes in multiple sizes, and that’s what I always had to be for Halloween. The adults thought they were cute, but I didn’t like it.
Or maybe it was the time that my friend’s Dad put on an old man mask and chased us around the outside of their house. I knew it was him, but something about him in that mask really disturbed me. I wanted him to take that mask off.
The fall always makes me think of this, as masks are everywhere for Halloween. It makes me think of the masks I have worn throughout my life.
The mask of trying to appear to be the perfect “Christian” to please other people instead of God, even when I didn’t believe many of the same ideas they told me I should.
The mask of trying to fit in with others and be popular because others told me I should care about that.
The mask that said everything is perfect (when it wasn’t), and never sharing my deep concerns for fear of being judged
The mask that my marriage was healthy, when it was about to fall apart.
The mask that pretended being out of shape and overweight did not bother me.
The mask of self-worth when deep down I thought I wasn’t worthy
The mask of confidence that hid feeling like I would never be good enough.
The mask of caring what others thought of me rather than worrying about what God thought of me.
I can honestly say that I don’t struggle with these masks anymore. I have learned that being authentic and sharing our pain and imperfections is so much more freeing than trying to be something we’re not. And honestly, I never liked the masks. I knew they weren’t the real me. It just took me a while to find out who I was, and be willing to take the masks off.
Have you struggled with wearing masks? How are you learning to live more authentically?