Tuesday, September 17, 2013

behind the mask of me


Masks. They are a part of life, no?

Cloaks and costumes. Also part of life?

There is a quote by W.H. Auden,


"Private faces in public places

Are wiser and nicer
Than public faces in private places"


 Sometimes we assume the need for a mask when there really isn't one.  We are trained, conditioned even commanded to look and act a certain way.  No matter what keep the mask on.

Later on we learn there is a sense of safety behind the mask.  We learn to use the mask to change our face, our voice, our visible self.

It is seductive.  This mask wearing.  It feels safe.  And it is.  Safe and lonely. Safe and isolated. Safe and imprisoned.  Wear the mask long enough and it can become more of you than you think.  And be impossible to completely remove.

Sometimes we wear many masks. One for family. One for friends. One for church. One for public. One for _______________.  Soon we find that when the mask is off no only does no one really know us, we don't know ourselves either.

I was raised in a mask dominated world where the public faces mattered more than private faces.  Where the image of us was vastly more valuable than our actual selves.

It is more than that though. We are trained by culture and society to wear masks and capes. Make up. Girdles. Bras. This kind of coat. Those sort of earrings. Those shoes. That music. Those books.  Not fitting in becomes not an option for so many of us.  

And yet we rebel.  And yet we cry out. And yet we seek Him who seeks us.  And He asks for no masks. No costumes. We can't hide from Jesus.  

It can be terrifying to lose the mask. And freeing.  And lonely.  Change is not easy for us, even when it saves us.

I fell into a trap though, when I sought the return of my voice and I shed the masks. Layer by layer I let them go.  Until I found my own visage.  And with my voice ready to use, my face free of masks I was faced with another challenge - no one wanted to see or hear me now.

What do you do then?  I assumed a cloak of invisibility.  And it works. Because they let it. And I let it.  They let it because it is easier for them.  I let it because it is easier for them. and for me too!

And I struggle with it.  Going through Jo Ann Fore's book When A Woman Finds Her Voice I am struggling still.  Layers are peeling back only to reveal more layers.  It reminds me of the onion joke - the way to not cry when peeling an onion is to not get emotionally attached. ha ha but it is true.

Don't be attached to the masks. To the cloaks. To the silence.  It is not meant to be ours forever!  

Finding my way through Jo Ann's book has been like peeling back the layers. Knowing each one can be shed safely. And I don't need to cry over them.  

We are sharing today with a whole bunch of amazing women who are finding, using and sharing their voices. Click on the linkup to join in with your voice! Visit the blogs. Leave some love. Always leave love!

Click to join us!

Jo Ann Fore

16 comments:

  1. Shanyn, thank you for sharing this perspective. It's amazing how easy it is to put on those masks and keep them firmly planted. The onion analogy is great and I couldn't help but think of Shrek for he has many layers! love you sweet friend.

    xoxox

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    1. Thank you Sarah for coming by. :-) I thought of Shrek too! Love that ogre.

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  2. "...And it works. Because they let it. And I let it. They let it because it is easier for them. I let it because it is easier for them. and for me too!

    I let it because it is easier for them. Wow, so very true, how we become trapped in order to not 'rock the boat'. Easier for them, easier for us. O the freedom when Jesus out of the depth of His Love for us, comes and ROCKS the BOAT freeing us from ourselves.

    Thank you. loved it!

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    1. Thank you for coming by and AMEN to being freed to rock the boat and freed from ourselves! :-)

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  3. Thank you so much for your wonderfully written and honest post. I really enjoyed your quote at the top and your insights.
    I find I am also afraid to be more genuine because perhaps no one will be interested in coming closer.
    But I really want you to know that I was blessed and encouraged with what you wrote and I am very glad to meet you!
    Bless you!
    Susan

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    1. Susan - thanks so much! I am blessed and encouraged by your presence here. It is great to meet you!

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  4. "Don't be attached to the masks. To the cloaks. To the silence. It is not meant to be ours forever!" Beautiful! God wants us to shed the masks, the cloaks and to un-silence ourselves and live His way forever. Just beautiful! <3

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    1. Bless you Tina! Thank you for being here.

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  5. Oh - the veil of obscurity. We can so easily shroud ourselves in a wall of covering. You wrote this so well. Thank you for sharing. YOU are NO longer invisible my dear friend - you are becoming known!! We see you now & you are so Beautiful! ~ Bobbi

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    1. Thank you Bobbi. For being here and for your encouraging words that bless me! :-)

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  6. Shanyn, Thank you for letting him peal off the painful layers, to reveal your beautiful self!

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  7. Shanyn, Thank you for letting him peal off the painful layers, to reveal your beautiful self!

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  8. Beautiful and powerful. OH, I forgot about that new blog you showed me! I can't keep up these days! I need to get back there. This was just so on- pray yuor journey with this book brings sweet fruit, for you as you live and share!

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  9. I don't know why my replies are not coming up! But Thank you Cheryl and Dawn for coming by. You bless me!

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