Who Are You Behind the Mask?

By Johnnie Lloyd

Identity Test: Who are You behind the Mask?

Have you ever felt like you were living your life behind a mask? We have the tendency of putting on masks, where we show others who we think we should be instead of showing who we really are. Masks can be used to cover pain, hurt, insecurity, and fear. However, as a path to greater levels of healing and self-awareness we eventually have to peel off our masks and deal with the issue(s). I am not saying that there are situations that may have happened that for a season a mask has not given us a cover before we are able to step out and face issues head on.

Mask are normally used when we do not feel safe, feel as though we must be strong, need to prove something, are not self-aware and when we do not feel as though our true selves will be accepted. Women especially use masks to show they do not need help, and for me it stems back to the strong women in my life that “taught” me to be self-sufficient, self-reliant, self-supporting, and successful. There is nothing wrong with striving for success but sometimes a mentality of “success at any cost” will leave you alone, fighting battles on your own, and not accepting or asking for help. I also personally know the feelings and problems behind taking off “the mask” including fear of being hurt, not being accepted, not feeling as though you are not enough, and the fear of appearing weak or vulnerable.  

Unmasking needs to be an inside transformation process; involving healing and self-awareness of your spirit, mind, body, and soul. I am not suggesting you just unmask anywhere or with anyone today. I would like to encourage each of us to be superwoman when necessary but create opportunities to take off our mask(s). To also build relationships with people who stretch you and also embrace the authentic unmasked you. Taking off the mask is not about being raw and uncensored so when you find a place of pain get the assistance you need to heal.  None of us have to bow down at the altar of “being a public success and a private failure”, you can be successful, powerful and influential in every area of your life.

I hope this encourages you to take some actionable steps to know yourself and enjoy the many amazing facets of you, your weakness, vulnerabilities, and strengths.  Awareness is critical in the process of taking off our mask and learning to breathe outside that facade.  Behind every mask is a little girl that still desires help, encouragement, love, a safe place to be authentic, and needs to breathe. Start to breathe, one day at a time; before you know it, you will be UNMASKED and like me, be free to be authentically you! 

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