no mask required…

4 Oct

Authenticity.  How do you really know when someone is authentic?  Real. Genuine.  I am told that I am naïve.  Naïve about the world and everything that goes on in it.  I guess I am.  But maybe I just like to believe the better more than the worse.  When I see people interact, hear their words, admire their “got it togetherness”, I completely believe it.  I mean why would someone pretend?  Why would someone put on a happy face and say everything is alright when it’s not?   Why would people say they don’t care about what people think, when they really do?  I take what people say at face value.  If you say you are okay, then I don’t think twice about it.  I believe you.  If you confidently brush off an ugly comment made about you, I not only believe you but envy your confidence.  When you go on about how great your husband is and how many great things are happening in your life ALL the time, I believe you and am happy for you.  Why would I think you were that type of person?

I used to think I was not that type at all.  I wore my heart on my sleeve.  My insecurities were all known and I never pretended to have it all together.  People always knew when I was upset or weary- or so I thought.  There have been rough patches in my life. Quite a few actually.  It wasn’t until I was made aware of my friend’s hardships or struggles that I realized I am that type.  She was always smiles.  Super friendly.  Outgoing.  Sweet.  Always happy.  When she shared her problems with me, she confessed that she just did that to hide the mess that was her life.  A husband who didn’t even want to kiss her.  Childhood abuse that still haunted her.  Past sins she hadn’t forgiven herself for.  She would just put on a mask.  Maybe that helped her feel better.  Maybe it made her forget.  Maybe she didn’t want to burden others with her problems.  Maybe she was embarrassed.  It was soon thereafter that I realized I too would put the mask on.  A happy hello to others.  A pleasant, “fine, how are you”.  In my head I would be careful not to say too much, or at least give any clues as to what was really going on.  I was embarrassed.  I didn’t want to burden anyone else with my problems.  It did help me forget.  

It seems nowadays everywhere we look there is a question of authenticity.  We use things to display the happy parts of our lives.  The “got it together” part of our lives.  We got our make-up.  Our clothes.  Our face book, twitter, and all the like.  Now either everyone has got it all together, or somehow we all feel like it’s not ok to share that we don’t.  That we do have problems.  That we do have messes.  That we did fail.  That we actually don’t like the face behind the mask.   

You know that song, “Come just as you are”?  I love that song.  I love that Jesus takes us as we are.  We don’t have to get cleaned up in order to go to Him.  We don’t have to pretend to get cleaned up in order to go to Him.  We don’t have to worry about being rejected, ridiculed, or condemned.  He will take our messy, non-make-up wearing, still in sweats at 1:00pm, wasn’t a good mommy today, failed again, selves the way we are.  So many things in this world come with conditions.  If we think about it, sometimes we put conditions on things.  But not Him.  He loves us, and died for us, and longs for us, especially without the mask.

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2 Responses to “no mask required…”

  1. Michelle October 4, 2010 at 5:04 pm #

    What an awesome post! Super encouraging and transparent. You know, as women, we some how have put pressure on each other to wear this mask of perfectionism … you really touch on a huge subject for women.

    Loved it!

  2. Julie October 6, 2010 at 11:28 am #

    What a great post, I especially love your last paragraph. A good reminder that we don’t have to pretend with Him. God loves us unconditionally, so we should not impose any conditions on our relationship with Him. Thanks for the awesome post!

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