I learned in high school, if I hold up an effigy, a mask, or a lie, that mask will get all the love, not me. – Lynn Breedlove
We hide behind masks to protect ourselves, but inside we feel like that’s not who we really are. It’s a vulnerable position to be in, to show someone your true self, because it can be painful if they don’t accept it. You might adopt an identity that you think others want to see because you want to be loved, accepted, or even ignored, and we’re afraid of being exposed for who we really are.
From Jesus > Religion:
We all wear these masks – meaning that we all have something we project on the outside to others that doesn’t truthfully represent who we are. We hide behind our jobs, behind our accomplishments, behind our athletics, behind our grades, behind our relationships, and so on. We don’t want anyone to see who we really are – our true selves.
The problem with wearing masks is even when we receive love, it’s really the mask that is receiving the love, not us. Whatever gets thrown at us will always hit the mask and can’t penetrate our souls.
We wear different masks in different situations and sometimes we even forget who we are behind the mask. Do you hide certain parts of your personality to conform to social situations, act like you understand because you’re afraid of looking stupid, or put on a smile and pretend like you are okay even though you feel like you’re falling apart inside? We’ve done this long before social media, but the Facebook page is such a clear example of this. Nobody puts up the unflattering pictures or writes about the pain they’re going through. We create an image of what we think others want to see. But when you always have these masks up, we aren’t able to fully accept the love that we receive.
Game Plan: Think about the masks you wear and why you wear them. The ‘Tough Guy’? The ‘Pushover’? The ‘Victim’? We put them on for protection, but in the end they only get in the way of really connecting with others. You are enough without the mask, just for being you.