Have Faith in Yourself – Remove the Mask

mask.jpg

I often tell my children that no one gives as much thought to their insecurities as they do. No other people are panicking about a blemish on someone else’s face. Nobody else stresses if another person gets a stain on their shirt during the day. Those moments of imperfection make my children feel like they are under the magnifying glass of their peers, but the reality is that those incidences are quickly replaced by alternate distractions and concerns of other people. I tell my kids all of this, and I remind them that no one is perfect. We all have embarrassing stuff, and we all carry insecurities. They don’t have to hide who they are ever. It’s solid mom advice, and I genuinely believe those words. But do I heed this wisdom in my own life?

The really short answer is no. The still short but not quite as short as the latter answer answer is not entirely, but I’m working very hard to change that. Putting my own challenges out there for public review isn’t the easiest task for me. Frankly, it’s extremely difficult, but I believe that it’s important. We share our lives with each other, and we should never feel isolated in our struggles. I have survived dark days, and I want others who are hurting to know that they aren’t the only ones to have ever felt that way.

To be abundantly clear, I don’t believe that being honest about yourself means that you have to share every heavy detail of your existence. Not at all. I also recognize that we reveal different parts of ourselves to various groups of people in our lives. But that is about discretion, not dishonesty about who we really are.

If you can’t own the reality that your life is not perfect, you aren’t alone. Sometimes I feel like I am walking around in a giant suburban masquerade ball. Fancy clothes and jewelry. Made up faces and unnaturally wide smiles. Peals of raucous laughter and endless bottles of wine always a-flowin’.

Maybe balls aren’t your style. Perhaps you would prefer the idea that we are all playing a giant game of strip poker. If you don’t play your hand correctly, you may find yourself peeling off those thin layers of protection that hide all of your unmentionables. Then again, if you aren’t into balls, strip poker is probably an even worse scenario for you, so back to the masquerade analogy we go.

We all wear masks. They shield others from seeing what is really underneath. Removing the mask would leave us exposed. The fairy tale would vanish, and a normal human would be revealed. The facade of perfection would vanish.

The problem with masks is that they aren’t really part of us. They may serve to shield us at times, but the clock will strike twelve and all of our coaches will turn back into pumpkins eventually.

We all have blemishes – imperfect marriages, parenting problems, body image issues, health challenges. We all have stains – choices that you shouldn’t have made, friendships that you lost, jobs that didn’t work out, addiction, mistakes. Everyone has experienced some version of that. If anyone needs you to be the kind of person who doesn’t have that kind of reality in their life, recognize that they are wearing a serious mask as well.

We have a path, and we are here to learn how to walk it. It wouldn’t be much of an experience if we arrived on the scene, already knew everything, didn’t have any ups or downs, and then left the planet again. What would be the point of that journey?

Choose to find the learning opportunities in your experiences. Know that you are allowed to be perfectly imperfect. Do good and be well as often as you can. Forgive yourself whenever that doesn’t happen as planned, and tackle the good / well dynamic once more with the next step you take.

And do all of that with honesty. Own who you are. It’s alright for others to know that you move to your own beat and that sometimes you miss a step (or if you are cool and graceful like me, you fall flat on your face). I can assure you that everyone else stumbles, too.

You don’t have to pretend to be someone else. You may need to work on your choices – we all do – but you must remember that you are an intentional and important part of the divine plan. You are a stunning piece of this beautiful design, and you are where you should be right now. If another person doesn’t get that, or more accurately, if they don’t get you, set their expectations free.

Your true light lies cloaked beneath those false layers. Release the fear of judgement and of not being accepted as you are. Have faith in yourself. Remove the mask, and reveal the raw beauty that lies within you.

Love and light always – Joanna

 

Cloaked

Brave

45 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. boundlessblessingsblog
    Oct 16, 2017 @ 00:33:10

    A wonderful read, Joanna and so rightly said, we all wear masks of our own selves and it is so difficult to remove and know who you really are. Great write up, very inspiring.

    Reply

  2. mainepaperpusher
    Oct 16, 2017 @ 01:56:39

    Joanna, this is just lovely. 💕🤗

    Reply

  3. foodzesty
    Oct 16, 2017 @ 02:01:42

    Great post once again!!! 🙂

    Reply

  4. James J. Cudney IV
    Oct 16, 2017 @ 07:41:42

    A message so full of beauty and knowledge… excellent start to the week.

    Reply

    • MoJo
      Oct 16, 2017 @ 07:55:52

      Thank you my friend. That’s such a tremendous compliment especially from you. ❤️

      Reply

      • James J. Cudney IV
        Oct 16, 2017 @ 18:20:58

        You are quite welcome. 🙂 I appreciate it. How are things going today? I’m pulling my hair out, which is fun, pulling together blog tour for the book’s release. 11/6 thru 11/20, every day bloggers! LOL

      • MoJo
        Oct 16, 2017 @ 18:43:12

        I don’t know how you keep up! I fully believe that you must take caffeine via I.V. drip. 😉

      • James J. Cudney IV
        Oct 16, 2017 @ 18:44:15

        I’m sure you are swamped but if you find any free time for the tour, happy to have you! No pressure at all. I know it’s a busy time.

      • MoJo
        Oct 16, 2017 @ 18:46:41

        How does that work? What do you have to do? I always feel like Wayne and Garth compared to your blogging skillz! I am not worthy!!! I am not worthy!!!

      • James J. Cudney IV
        Oct 17, 2017 @ 08:04:33

        That’s so not true! You have loyal followers and amazing content! The way my blog tour works… totally made up…. is we pick a day in the schedule where I direct people to your site for your post on my book launch. You can write any content you want… could be a review of my book, could be a character overview… a story about us, my writing… anything to drum up interest. NO PRESSURE! we can chat offline thru FB messenger, too. Or elsewhere to discuss.

      • MoJo
        Oct 17, 2017 @ 20:02:47

        Of course I would LOVE to do that! I was already planning on doing something for your book, but I wanted to finish reading it! Sorry that I’m so slow. This past weekend got away from me. I’m tempted to take a day off work just so I can have a quiet day to myself. Your book will be the focus when that happens!

      • James J. Cudney IV
        Oct 17, 2017 @ 20:28:05

        No! Take the time for yourself. You need a break. Not to have another item in your to do list!!!

      • MoJo
        Oct 17, 2017 @ 20:29:23

        Well I’m writing about it no matter what. You are incredible and you inspire me my friend. That’s definitely post-worthy. ❤️

      • James J. Cudney IV
        Oct 17, 2017 @ 20:37:33

        Thank you!!!

      • James J. Cudney IV
        Oct 17, 2017 @ 20:39:32

        If you have time and want I will add you to the list. Or you can post next month whenever you are ready. 🙂

      • MoJo
        Oct 17, 2017 @ 20:49:34

        🤗😘🤗😘🤗

  5. José María López
    Oct 16, 2017 @ 10:12:37

    I love my mask because it´s perfect!!

    Reply

  6. I tripped over a stone.
    Oct 16, 2017 @ 15:39:44

    If olny! I really hear you Joanna! Really. I admin a FB support group and I am expected to know the answers and I just don’t. I don’t know everything. I have never prayer for “clarity” so much before in my life. To reach out when someone is wounded and contacts me. What am I doing? What if I meess up? But I prayer for that clarity and have been successful, except once, eearly in my career… I lost a patient. I still can’t quite let that go. But yes, I remove the mask and speak my truth, it does tke time!~Kim

    Reply

    • MoJo
      Oct 16, 2017 @ 17:52:20

      Girl I think that we all feel that way. We don’t have to know the answers or make all the right choices. I think that it’s better if we know that there is no chance of that actually happening. Everyone makes mistakes. The best we can do is pray for guidance and clarity, and then follow what feels right and true. I can’t handle people who aren’t perfect all day long. It’s the ones who are perfect that make me uneasy. If someone can’t own that they have unfun stuff and that life can be quite unsexy at times, I can’t run with that. It exhausts me!

      But you aren’t trying to turn somebody into a perfect person. You are being a kind and supportive friend. You aren’t giving medical advice. You are providing a shoulder to cry on and helping people keep their chin up. You aren’t dishonest about who you are, the pain you have been through, or the reality you live in. You very much walk the walk, and I believe that you honor those you support because you are so real.

      You are amazing darling friend. ❤️

      Reply

  7. curryNcode
    Oct 17, 2017 @ 01:40:16

    very true. I completely agree. It took me a life long experience to accept that yu dont have to be perfect

    Reply

  8. Tracy
    Oct 17, 2017 @ 01:58:57

    We’re all wearing a mask of some kind. I rarely leave home without mine. 😉 X

    Reply

    • MoJo
      Oct 17, 2017 @ 06:22:54

      You’re much more awesome that you realize. The people who matter in your life know that already. Hopefully you will, too, someday. ❤️

      Reply

  9. Little Swan
    Oct 18, 2017 @ 08:25:38

    I needed to read this today. Thank you.

    Reply

    • MoJo
      Oct 18, 2017 @ 09:18:36

      I hope that it helped in some way darling. I love your blog logo and the name itself. Swans are a rather funny dichotomy to me. They are graceful and soft and lovely, but they also have a ferocity of spirit that you would never predict. Both sides are awesome to behold. Don’t be afraid of embracing all sides of who you truly are honey. The name you chose is lovely, but it speaks to who you are, too. Own it. All of it. ❤️ Big hugs to you! Joanna

      Reply

  10. misifusa
    Oct 18, 2017 @ 12:30:29

    Oh my goodness, this post had me from the start as usual, but there’s something magical about the way you write and connect with us, with yourself and golly, you’re a great mom too! Trifecta! Sending you huge hugs from my bared unmasked self…xoxo

    Reply

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  12. Just Me... Doing My Thang
    Oct 21, 2017 @ 09:03:34

    From someone that constantly struggles with anxiety over the little things, this was such a sweet reminder of the realities of life and that I need to just calm my brain down. Excellent read ❤️

    Reply

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