The Real Me

Young lady, pretty figure

Big, brown eyes and glistening hair,

Latest shoes and styles,

Money piled high.

From the outside looking in, 

She has it all together.

~~~

Top of her class, 

Teachers bragging. 

Part of a picture perfect family. 

On the field or the court, 

Even in the pew at church. 

From the outside looking in, 

She has it all together.

~~~

But hiding behind all those fake smiles and labels, 

Behind all those baggy clothes and their front door, 

Is a brokenhearted scared little girl. 

So buried and covered in masks, 

Truly unknown to the world.

~~~

Underneath all the rubble and constant commotion, 

Swapping masks for each occasion,

She hears a quiet whisper. 

My dear child…I love you.. 

There is no reason to be afraid..

You may not see it now,

although in the end, rest assured.  

It is all going to be okay.  

I promise you are not alone.

~~~

I do not like the choices you are making,

And pretending to be someone different every day. 

You may look good on the outside 

But daughter, I look deeper. 

I see your heart all so dark.

And trust me child, 

It is time for a brand new start.

~~~

Take off all those masks, 

Those lies and fake smiles. 

I see you back there, 

Come out from hiding. 

Do not be shy or quiet. 

Do not be afraid of what they may say. 

Even before the foundation of the world was laid,

I had, for you, a specific plan in mind. 

Far greater things are yet in store. 

The world is waiting my child,

These masks aren’t meant to stay. 

~~~

No need to impress, 

Or act like him or her. 

I do not want you to be anyone but you. 

I love you my child. 

Rise up, dear one. Today is your day.”

~~~

Little by little, 

Each mask peeled off. 

Unveiled, so exposed to the world. 

Eyes open wide, I now understand. 

The only thing that matters

Is what is on the inside, 

For that is all you see Lord. 

From this day going forward,

My hope, my prayer, my plea, 

Is that you purify my heart and make me clean

So the world can see the real me.

~~~

~~~

Ninja Turtles… Mickey Mouse…The latest and greatest superheroes and movie characters…. Children of all ages will enjoy disguising themselves in costumes such as these when we celebrate Halloween at the end of the week. 

Though beyond the literal masks themselves, I can relate on a deeper level as I inhabited this familiar place, completely covered in masks.  Day after day, my life became like a game of dress up while I exchanged one mask for another, depending on whom I was around, the place and my role. As I became all too comfortable in hiding behind power, position, possessions, my social media status, and fake smiles,  I lost myself, my identity and even my purpose in life. All the while leading to what seemed to be a never-ending spiral in which I was engulfed in self destructive habits of an eating disorder, depression, anxiety, and near attempts of suicide. The real me was truly unknown to the world for nearly twenty years, and as you read this now, you may find yourself to be in a similar situation. What masks are you hiding behind today?

Once we come to grasp the reality of the masks and their destructive power on our lives, the question is then posed of how to get rid of them. Though the unveiling is not necessarily an immediate process which happens overnight, my journey first began by admitting I had an eating disorder and needed help.  I realized that I could not continue to wrestle each mask on my own, thus I sought after resources and a community of people which encouraged me in my faith as well as accepted and loved me for who I was, even with all my scars and bruises underneath. Despite my multitude of masks, they pointed me to the true catalyst of their love and acceptance for me, found only in Jesus Christ.  Upon finding this source and meeting Him personally, I awakened to the reality that I really was loved and accepted not only by this community, but by the true Source. There were no longer any reasons to attempt in altering my image or hiding behind something or someone. I could be the real me. Find courage, my friend, for today can be the day you take off the masks, too. 

*Article also published with “A Place for Healing” Bristol, Tennessee in October 2018

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.