Masks can be used for entertainment purposes, or to disguise our hurts and fear. Carol says it’s time to take off your mask and experience healing.
Do you have hurts that you are hiding from? Contact us! We will be happy to pray for you.
Take Off Your Mask
Masks have been used since ancient times and in many cultures. As we come to a time of year that children don masks and beg for treats around their neighbourhood, I began to look more into masks. The first use of the word mask in the English language can be traced back to around 1530, likely from the French word meaning covering or guard for the face.
Masks come in many forms. Some are used for protection such as a surgical mask or a hockey goal tenders mask to prevent injury. Others, such as a balaclava, can protect our faces from the bitter prairie winters.
Masks Serve a Purpose
Some masks are beautiful creations used for parties or performance. They might be bejeweled, trimmed in feathers and brilliant colours but they too hide the wearer’s identity. They can serve a purpose at a fun masked party or ball. They might work well in an artistic dramatic event or even grace the walls of our homes to add beauty and mystery.
Yet all masks worn on the face have similar characteristics. They protect, disguise and are used in performance and entertainment. They allow the wearer to conceal their own identity and take on the role of someone else for a brief period of time. They allow us to hide. Today we can even hide behind the screens of technology, chatting with others but never seeing them face to face. We can be whoever we choose to be when all we do is type messages to others.
We Wear Masks To Hide
Yet how often do we don another form of mask? We hide behind the words, “I’m fine.” when the reality of our situation is devastating, hurtful or fear filled. We paste on a smile that does not reach our eyes and hope no one notices the lack of a sparkle in our eyes or bounce in our step. We talk about superficial things like weather or our week’s activities and never go deeper – into how we feel, what we are thinking and definitely never sharing our heart’s needs.
We cover ourselves with protective masks, longing for love and kindness but not knowing how to open up, maybe even to our trusted friends. Or maybe the hurts of life have forced us to cover ourselves, to withdraw in case no one understands or adds to our pain. Insecurities dictate a mask – that face which keeps others at bay.
We might don a mask with our negative thinking to cover the real emotion buried deep inside. Robert Schuller said, “Negative thinking is subtle and deceptive. It wears many faces and hides behind the mask of excuses. It is important to strip away the mask and discover the real root emotion.”
Take Off Your Mask
I agree we need to strip away the masks we are wearing and get to the root of the emotions, the fears, the insecurities in our lives. Leaving the masks in place limits our abilities, our choices, and our being part of the people that intersect our path of life. We miss God appointments, learning opportunities and the encouragement of others by pulling inside.
I have never claimed to be a poet. I tend to stick to writing non-fiction and yet I penned these words, more in a poetic format during a time when I felt vulnerable. Life events had made me wonder if putting a mask firmly into place might be the way to go. I thought my friends must be tired of hearing about the daily struggles.
Invisible edges hiding its existence
My constant companion
Firmly fixed smile,
Eyes devoid of twinkles
Beneath its shadow
Allowing no one in
Striving for safety
A sense of control
Giving the impression life is good.
Safe in the stillness of evening
Locked away at home
The mask slips off
Laid aside for tomorrow’s adventure
I peer at my naked face
Cracks mar its surface
I weep at the void of care and love
Crumbling me to dust
The snug fitting mask
Invisible lines hiding its existence
Gorgeous masterpiece of protective beauty
Is the death of me.
Take Off Your Mask and Find Healing
I never found the words, at the time of penning this poem, to talk about leaving the mask behind and finding healing for the cracks yet I know this is necessary. In life I have friends who do not tire of hearing about the real me with all my faults, struggles and discouraging life events. They also encourage me, pray for me and keep on loving me for who I am.
I am blessed with a husband who loves me as I am – each wrinkle and foible. He encourages me to be the person God gifted me to be.
How about you? Are you struggling with taking off the mask and being real? Do you have people in your life who will encourage you and who love you for who you are and what they know God has gifted you to be? I pray it is so.
Listen to Carol’s program Puzzle Pieces Of Life.
Carol Harrison B.Ed is a speaker and published author with one book, Amee’s Story and stories in twelve anthologies. She is passionate about helping people of all ages and ability levels find their voice and reach their fullest potential.
She knows, through personal experience that some of life’s experiences are tougher than others. She encourages people that even in the twists and turns of life God’s amazing grace provides hope. She lives in Saskatoon, SK with her husband Brian. They have four adult children and a dozen grandchildren.
Visit Carol’s website carolscorner.ca
Mask – Pexels
Depressed – Momonator
Masked Businessman – geralt
Woman Smiling – skeeze