“God hath given you one face, and you make yourself another.” ~ William Shakespeare
As a young child I was terrified of anyone wearing a mask. My parents tell of my being at Disney and hiding underneath my mom’s skirts when the characters walked through the park. You can imagine how I felt about Halloween!
Over the years I realized that there were actually people behind those costumes and masks. This enabled me to cope with visible masks that people wear. But, people often put on masks that can’t be seen with the visible eye. (e.g. a happy face when we are actually depressed and stressed.) Sometimes the masks we put on are for our own protection. Other times it is to hide something we view as a weakness. Or it might even be that we want to ignore how we really feel inside by masking it with another feeling. Whatever the reason, we as humans have become master mask wearers.
With my hatred of masks it is ironic that I would don one for many years of my life. My mask of choice was that of the fun loving “Party Girl.” I hid all my sadness, loneliness, and fear behind a big smile, sarcastic wit, humorous comments, and laughter. To the world I appeared like the class clown or the life of the party. But inside I was dying more and more each day.
Some days were a struggle to even get out of bed because I was so burdened by the depression pressing down on me. All I wanted to do was pull the covers back over my head and never come out. I actually lived like that for awhile – staying in bed 15 – 20 hours a day. Yet, when I left the house it was like a switch had been thrown. My fake smile was plastered on. My practiced “natural laugh” was ready at a moments notice. My sarcastic wit was finely honed. I was transformed into the perfect little happy-golucky “Party Girl” the moment I stepped out of the door of my house.
I think we are inherently aware in our spirit that as children of God we were never meant to wear masks. I know for me, I came to the point where I just couldn’t don my mask anymore. I knew I needed help. It was through inner healing at the Glennon House and Christian Counseling that I began to pour my pain out to the Lord and receive His healing touch. Jesus showed me how to take off my mask.
God knows what’s really in our hearts. Our part is to be willing to be brutally honest with Him by telling Him about the pain that is twisting our insides. It is only by expressing the pain to Him that He can begin to heal those areas in our lives. Look at how King David poured out his anger and pain in the Psalms. He was brutal with his words! But he was also known as a “man after God’s own heart.”
If you are going through your days donning a mask before facing the world please visit the Glennon House for an appointment with a trained Prayer Minister. Open the doors to your heart letting the Lord in to heal you. His greatest desire is for you to stop wearing masks and start being who He created you to be – mask free! ”
Love makes your soul crawl out from its hiding place. It takes off masks that we fear we cannot live without and know we cannot live within. ” ~ Zora Neal Thurston