Sunday, June 2, 2013

True Colors

The comment: 
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. 
You're right.
They may not accept you. It's an ugly possibility, but there's no way that I can honestly tell you that the moment you live out of the fullness of who you are that everyone is going to love and accept you. It's not reality. Because reality reveals that people sometimes suck and that sometimes they're judgmental and far too often we care more about loving ourselves and getting ahead in life than we care about getting to really know people and love them well.

But, you're also right. Wearing a mask is exhausting.

So... what's the solution?

I think it comes down to identity and security. A recognizing that no matter who you are, you are loved by the Lord. And being so secure in that, it won't matter whether everyone accepts you or not.

Because, here's the deal. If we're doing this whole Christianity thing, there's a promise made to us that the world is not going to accept us. People aren't always going to like us or agree with us. They're going to think we're crazy (and most of the time, we kind of are). But it doesn't change that we're loved by the Savior of the world. Their opinions, thoughts, perceptions of us shouldn't be the things that dictate how we act, how we think, how we feel about ourselves.

Easier said than done, right?
I know.
I get it.

But it doesn't change that it's true.
It doesn't change that the longer you wear the mask, the more exhausted you'll continue to get, and the more distanced you'll feel from everyone and everything in your life... because you're continually choosing to ignore who you are.

Who you are, who you've been created to be... it's good.
What the Lord is refining you into? It's the best possible thing.
Why wouldn't we want to bask in that? Why wouldn't we want to live in the fullness of that?

There's so much freedom to be found.
In the weirdness, in the quirkiness, in the random things about us that no one else seems to appreciate...? It's still good. It's good because it's part of who we've been created to be and I honestly believe that the Lord wants us to recognize that it's because He says that it is good, that it is. To believe that what He says is good enough for our ears.

When we're needing that affirmation constantly from others, or when we're too scared to really let others in because we fear the lack of acceptance of us when they find what's behind the mask...? It reveals our lack of confidence in who we are, in who God has created us to be.

Take it slow. I'm not saying you need to take off the mask all at once (unless you're the type of person who finds ripping off the band-aid much easier than the slow peeling off of one). I actually think you'll be surprised by the acceptance you find from other people when you're actually more of yourself. But, I think you'll be abundantly surprised by the freedom you find when you can just be without all the pretense of trying to be something that you simply aren't.

It's a simpler life.
A freer life.
A glimpse of how things are supposed to be.

Give yourself a tough examination-- question your motives and your actions. WHY are you doing the things that you are doing? Is it because that's who you really are/want to be? I think when you allow yourself to go through this process, you'll start to recognize the different things you've adopted over the years that were spawned from a desire to fit in, to be liked, to be accepted by others... even if they are contrary to who you are. Take it all to the Lord...surrendering yourself more fully to Him in every degree.

And slowly may you start to find freedom in being exactly who you are created to be.

May the masks we wear fade, and may our true colors shine through.

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