Sunday, May 5, 2013


I've gotten really good at putting on a mask.
A mask of smiles, laughter, the pretense that everything is okay. Occasionally I'll take it off, depending on the person, the situation, or simply my inability to control my emotions.

I've been sad lately.
Sad and lonely.
There's a desire for deep connection that I feel like I'm lacking--both in my relationships with others, but also the Lord.

I'm aware that relationships take time, but in the midst of loneliness, my natural reaction is to retract further into my shell. It becomes a self-perpetuating cycle. Out of my desire for intimacy, I'm silently asking who will make the effort, who will take the time, who will go out of their way to care about me...but in the process of wanting these things, I'm simultaneously shutting down any possibility of those things ever being able to happen. I'm closed off, non-communicative, and wearing my mask that allows people to see exactly what I want them to see.

It's a mask that, probably more often than not, communicates that I don't need people, that I don't want people, and that I'm too good for them. In reality, I'm extremely aware that I need them, I know that I want them, and I'm scared that I'm simply not good enough for them....that they won't want me when they truly see me.

My insecurities and fears breed a mask of self-confidence and independence in order to overcompensate for what I'm lacking.

I've approached new relationships with trepidation and hesitation, not feeling like I've had anything to offer or give. I've encountered new people with the assumption that they are already set up with the friends they need in life and don't need to add more to their list. I've stamped out old relationships, feeling like the distance and time apart would cause people to forget or somehow give enough reason for them to stop caring about me. I've lost touch and allowed myself to get caught up in school and work and the busyness of it all.

And in the midst of all of the lies, the biggest one I've chosen to believe is that God doesn't care about me. He doesn't care about my desire for connectivity and intimacy.

So I feel rather disconnected.
I feel unplugged.

I feel like my expectations and my ideals will never be met, and so beneath my mask I am defeated and hopeless.

Do you ever feel like this?
Do you ever feel like no one understands you or wants to understand you? Do you ever feel isolated in your loneliness? Do you ever feel like God doesn't care... and if He doesn't care, why would anyone else?

My prayer lately has been that the Lord would truly be my portion and my strength. That in the times where the lies about His character seem to be all I can hear and see... that His truth would somehow prevail. That there would still somehow be hope, even in the despair.

Perhaps there is something to not being so consumed with myself, to not being so caught up in how others do or don't show that they care about me, to not creating expectations that are unrealistic and impossible to meet.

Perhaps there is something to taking off the mask.
To admitting that sometimes we're sad, that sometimes we're lonely... that sometimes life doesn't feel perfect, even when we can recognize that there is much to rejoice in. Sometimes we just don't feel like rejoicing.

Perhaps there is something to pushing on, to taking steps forward, to not wallowing or dwelling in the pain that causes us to only think of ourselves. Perhaps there is something to reaching out, to finding ways to love or encourage others, and then even allowing them to do the same in return (even when it's different than what you might want/expect). Perhaps there's something to not assuming things about other people and what they think of you.

I'm working on taking off the mask--not just in my writing, but in my actual life. It's not easy and I know it will take time. But, I hope that we might all be people who can let go of the facade...even when that means feeling like others might think that we're somewhat unstable, or depressed, or whatever else. Because that's the only way people know what's really going on, and sometimes it's the only way people can know how to care about us. Sometimes it's the only way people can truly intercede for us.

Everybody hurts sometimes.
Even when the source of the pain seems ridiculous and unwarranted... it doesn't negate that it's there.
Let's be honest about it. Not in a way that's dramatic... but in a way that invites the Lord and others in to remind us of Truth. To remind us that there's more than this.

And at the end of the day, may we truly be able to say: it is well with my soul.
And may we be able to truly rejoice, even when the tears are streaming down our face. Because our hope is not what is seen, but what is unseen....our hope is not in the assurances of this world, but in something greater that lasts through all of eternity.

May our momentary pains and afflictions not keep us from remembering that there is a better... and that makes everything else worth it in the end.

Your entries will remain anonymous

1 comment:

  1. I wear a mask daily, it's exhausting.

    I am working on taking it off but I don't know how?
    People might not accept who I truly am, that makes me scared.