Hey Boo! Are you tired yet? Trust me, I’ve worn it too. Release the pain to God and be your authentic you. Pain is pint size and can fit into most of our purses and be carried around like a compact. We find ourselves taking it out at every stop, looking into the mirror and smearing the pain on our faces. Pain loves to be held and snuggled and it grows with each passing moment because the more you hold onto it, the more it attaches itself to your hopes, dreams, desires, and being.
If you are thinking about the number of masks that you have worn in your life, I’ve got your attention and that is a great thing because frankly, I am exhausted with wearing mine. When I realized that God wanted my heart not the pretense mock up of myself, it began to make perfect sense as to why we try to float through life as though everything is okay. Let me tell you something that I have just discovered in my thirty-four years on this earth…………..
It can be very subtle and alarming at first but gradually overtime, that thing that we try to disclose will be exposed for all the world to see and our vices that used to protect us and insulate us so strongly like an armored truck will no more and we are left at a crossroads to deal……..
the abortion that you never healed from………..
the graduation that you never reached…………
not making peace with the scale and falling into a box of twinkies night after night……….
kissing her while you are imagining yourself wanting to be kissed by him but he’s married……….
and a whole host of things that we as a population of people are dealing with. People magazine does not do the world justice at all in capturing the spirit of issues that are affecting the human race. Amid the glamour and the cars, and the celebrities toting lattes down the street, are a population of people strung out on dope without hope and sitting on the kitchen floor wondering how to cut themselves in silence. When you don’t talk, you get talked to and for anyone that has dealt with the silence of yourself, you can relate to what I am saying.
The devil is not a red tailed imp that we see on television or in movies. He is real and has a purpose that is laid out in John 10:10 where it says, “Satan comes to kill, steal, and destroy, but God came to ensure that we have access to an abundant life.” So there……..we know that his purpose for us is not good because if left up to him we would suffocate in our mask and never take it off!
Something smells a little funky……….I know because I used to smell funky too. Spraying perfume on my face and wearing Noxema to hid the marks of my mask and ready to defend myself against anyone who would dare to recognize that I was wearing one. The good news is no one can make you come to the realization that you are not being yourself like you. You are with you consistently and are familiar with all of your ways just like God is, so sniff, sniff, and tell me what you smell?
One of my fav poets, Paul Laurence Dunbar drafted a poem that touched me in the day when the paper and pen were my coveted friend. His poem goes like this…..
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!
Take a minute and think about the enormity of this poem and the message that Paul was attempting to convey with it. If you have a journal with you now as you read my post, take a minute and write any ideas that are coming to mind as a result of wearing your mask. So now that you have done so, let’s explore how do we go about getting rid of the mask?
- Get Tired– When you come to the end of yourself and realize that God is and has always been your comforter, you will reach the point where you say enough is really enough and you go to that closet of masks and rip them out one by one. Realizing that you are not and were not called to be all things to all people and that you possess an authentic self is so liberating. All of the crowds that you frequent with dread, the relationships that you attempt to upkeep when you know the content is not quality and the environment is so toxic, there is nothing like freedom. In the words of my faithful Facebook friend, Ayene Joel, “Mask Alwayz falls Down One Day… Alwayz…”
- Realize that it’s ok to be you- When you were growing up, did you ever feel as though you had to contain who you really were in order to be accepted in a group, even if that group was your own home? I can remember wanting to watch country music and my siblings wanting to watch Rap City. I remember the times that I would go to school and my classmates would be talking about the latest fashion and trends yet I would be thinking about if my father remembered to take his medication and what he and my mother were going to want to do when I got home. All of us are at different junctions in our life and we are traveling the same road in life; yet many of us are taking various detours and routes that are not all in sync. It is easy to see someone along the road of life that may be more advanced than you or more prettier than you or whatever it may be. Seize the opportunity to be consistent in knowing that you are valuable and you have a purpose in this life. God made you and had greatness in mind when you were born. It does not matter if you felt as though you were an accident to your parents; God has a way of turning your thoughts to become agreeable to His will for your life. Realize and accept the purpose in your path.
- Surrender the pain– Erykah Badu asked a very simple, yet poignant statement, “Bag lady, you gonna hurt your back, carrying all them bags like that. I guess no one never told you that all you must hold on to is you!” It is so easy to try to save someone that may or may not be saved. This is a common thread in the life of a caregiver. Caregivers hold a special place in my life because I was one to my parents and can identify with the feeling that you get when you want something for someone, at times, more than they want it for themselves. You wonder, well why can’t they just see what you see, but remember, that same train of thought that you hold for them, God holds for you! God wants you to trust him with the pain that you are feeling and find a place of peace to release the pain to him. God hearts you and wants you to be free.
In short, we all get tired, tired of working, tired of shopping, tired of writing, and tired of working. We all have reached the point of being tired of wearing the mask. This is your permission to take it off. What God has for you is far greater than you’ve ever imagined but you’ve gotta take the mask off and clean your face so that you can be annointed with His joy as you accept your call to His authentic grace.
He loves us, God that is…..,