Masking For Survival

venetian-mask-

How many people wear a mask? We all wear masks for one reason or another, unlike people wear different masks under different conditions and for various reasons. Do you put your masks on and proclaim to the world: I’m Okay and I have it altogether,  however when we get home to our sanctuary we find relief to take off our public mask and we allow the real person to loosen up in our own way. We use the mask to suppress our frustrations, our isolation and any lack of happiness. The mask serves as a defense mechanism, it shields us from the opinion of others and protects us from being hurt. The truth is we absolutely cannot let the opinion of others determine who we are.  Remember that an opinion doesn’t always equal truth!

Some of us would rather stay in the survival mode;  the mask has become our secret to survival. Most of us are taught to put our best face forward’ and to hide secrets and insecurities inside. The famous poet William Shakespeare quoted “God has given you one face, and you make yourself another.” We can’t allow the mask to hold us back from achieving authentic happiness by continuing to hide behind the mask.  We must begin to contend with the issues that infringe upon our lives. As a result, we have a wardrobe of masks, some of us wear emotional masks, masks of divorce, masks of guilt, masks of loneliness, masks of pain,  masks of sickness, masks of shame, masks of  insecurity, and don’t forget the everything’s OK masks.

One of the most prolific writers Paul Laurence Dunbar gives insight on human emotion in a poem called ‘We Wear The Mask”:

We wear the mask that grins and lies,

It hides our cheeks and shades our eyes,—

This debt we pay to human guile;

With torn and bleeding hearts we smile,

And mouth with myriad subtleties.

Why should the world be over-wise,

In counting all our tears and sighs?

Nay, let them only see us, while

We wear the mask.

We smile, but, O great Christ, our cries

To thee from tortured souls arise.

We sing, but oh the clay is vile

Beneath our feet, and long the mile;

But let the world dream otherwise,

We wear the mask!

The problem with the mask is that after wearing them long enough we forget who we really are and we lose track of our true identity.  The first step is to reclaim our  identity and embrace who God created us to be. God wants us to be free. It’s time to unmask and be willing to face the skeletons of unresolved issues that has become secret strongholds in our hearts and mind. And the best way to dismantle strongholds is through God’s Word.  Strongholds are negative thinking patterns that are formed in the mind to keep us paralyzed in the land of negativity and hold us back from living a joy-filled life. Before long, those thought patterns will characterize who we are. This is why it’s important that we renew our mind daily with God’s truth how He sees us.  And God see us as “beautiful.”

God wants to cultivate our character and help mold us so that we can fulfill our destiny. In Romans 12:2, Paul tells us, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” The best part of it all, God loves us just as we are and the hidden things no one knows. We have to allow God to pull away layers off our lives and bring in healing. It’s a mean of letting go and letting God know how much pain we are housing. In the end, we must be honest with ourselves and God. It is okay to take off the mask. Is masking your survival apparatus?

© Copyright 2018

L. Jones – Yu’Niquely Created

Peace and Love!

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