Sep 26, 2013

The truth about the masks that we wear

I am linking up with Lisa- Jo for Five Minute Fridays...  it's a beautiful community of friends all writing on the same word for 5 minutes.  No editing, no over-thinking... just pouring their hearts and minds out.  Join us, won't you? {Make sure you visit several of the other friends linking up... it's amazing how many different directions one word can take one in!}
The word?  True


What is true? 

I have spent much of my life wearing masks. 

A smiling mask, the one that is always laughing.  Laughing.  I laugh at the hundreds of things that I find amusing because of my dark sense of humor.  A sense of humor that sees the absurd in all things, and finds the absurd endlessly amusing and distracting.  I laugh at those who are funny, those who are trying to be funny and at times, I laugh for no reason, but because I have an overflow of emotion within me, and it comes out as a laugh.

This smiling mask that I can remove when I am showing care and concern for a hurting friend, but one that is always at hand to protect myself.  From what?  Maybe from others loving me too much, maybe from feeling that sense of needing other people, maybe I wear the smiling mask to cover up a deeper hurt that I can't show.

I wear a mask of the confident and sure.  One that is getting fragile and somewhat transparent as I age.  My confidence is slipping.  Where I could once walk into any room, any situation, regardless of who was there and whether or not they liked me or approved of me, I could walk in with my head up and pretend that I was never afraid.  But now I know they can see my fear, my timidity.  It shows up in my writing and on my blog, or how I reach out (or don't reach out) to other bloggers.

I wear masks that cover up what I dislike about myself.  To cover up my shame and those things that cause me to recognize weakness and disappointment in myself.  I wear masks to hide those things that I wish I could change, and hope to change; so what I present to the world will be true and not just wishful thinking.

Recently I began to see those masks as extra baggage that just weigh me down.  They keep my hands occupied when I could be using my hands to be creative.  They keep my mind distracted when I could be using my mind to learn more and continue to grow and mature. 

I learned that without the masks I am lighter, more at peace, and recognizing that they crippled my attempt to be all of those things without the masks.  I am learning to be me, without worrying about what others think.  I am learning that I was created with a purpose in mind, and I don't have to make my own way, I can just follow where God leads.  Excuse me while I put these things down...


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  1. Thank you for sharing so honestly, AJ! You are not alone in this journey to move beyond masks to transparency. May you have courage as you take off the mask and may you find acceptance and true relationships!

  2. AMEN! It's such a relief... but there is a part of me that still questions what it really means, and balancing it with gentleness and kindness...

  3. Thank you for your encouragement! I think it really is such a journey... and it can be a risk!

  4. Hello AJ - understand too well what you are talking about - how old are you anyhow? You said as you get older sounding 'old' but your picture looks young :) I do my best to be genuine in my encounters - even when this sometimes is tiring and takes courage - I just be sure and ask myself what is my intent? If it is not 'kind' or won't be taken kindly, is it necessary? Visiting from FMF -


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