As a homeowner, I look forward to trick-or-treating every year. My husband and I carve pumpkins, grab our favorite TV show, and wait with anticipation. While I’m not a fan of Halloween, I do look forward to the doorbell ringing and greeting a cast of characters with handfuls of sweets.
Rain or shine, today we will be the ones on the sidewalk going door to door with Iron Man and Superman leading the way! And while I feel like a kid again and have eagerly packed “goodie bags” for such an occasion, the activity conjures up another mask in question.
This mask is not for kids. And it is not reserved for special occasions. In fact, it seems to be worn throughout most of the year. This mask hides flaws. It misrepresents. It is the paraphernalia of an act, one that has been performed throughout the years. This mask is worn for others. This mask is mine.
Getting me to admit my masquerade has been a long time coming. I felt the effects long before I recognized the cause. Even as these words leave my fingertips, my heart flutters a little with insecurity. But I’m going to be honest with you. Because maybe you’re like me. It all started a couple months ago with Donald Miller’s book, Scary Close (awesome read, by the way). Within the first few pages I knew I had a problem. Like the author, I have been an actor on the stage of life. Performing for others in order to receive the applause of acceptance and affirmation. I rehearse my lines so I can deliver them with ease. I disguised myself and therefore deceived myself.
Maybe you do this too. Perhaps you’re an actor on your own stage, performing for the people in your life in order to get something in return: significance, love, acceptance, forgiveness, recognition, fame, fortune, the list goes on and on. Somewhere along the line we’ve all learned that we aren’t enough. That there is something wrong with us. So we overcompensate. We carefully craft a mask to wear that we know will be pleasing to others. As Miller says, we all have an ace card that, when all else fails, we know we can play with success.
It got me thinking. What is my ace card? And what’s yours? What mask have I worn over the years that has yielded positive results? That has given me the affirmation I always wanted? And then it came to me. While yours may be intelligence, humor, money, or service, mine is Continue reading