Sunday, March 2, 2014

Loving Myself: Escaping My Masks

"I catch myself trying to cover up the parts of myself that I don't accept. It's like a mask. I think masks say, "Approve me. Accept me. Love me." (but) masks don't say, "This is me.". So what am I without the masks? What am I from the inside out?" -Sabrina Ward Harrison-
I'm covered in masks, big and small. I think we all are to some degree. Some of us are more comfortable in our own skin than others and we show others who we are more often but we all develop masks.
When you experience heartache, do you really feel it? Or do you have a mask that is comforting in those situations?
I do.
My biggest mask is sarcasm.
I don't like to cry so I make jokes instead. It doesn't even feel like a nervous habit, it is natural now. I have a hard time feeling.
I feel like smiling has also been a mask, even though that isn't always the case. I smile genuinely but I also smile when I don't want anyone to know what I'm feeling.
Last week, my divorce was final. It's been an interesting week filled with interesting remarks. Obviously, after 6 months of paperwork, ups and downs, and feeling so stuck in limbo, it was relieving in a lot of ways. I got comments spanning from, "It's a new beginning" to "I'm a bit jealous that you get to date again" to "I'm really, truly sorry". It felt like it's own mini-rollercoaster.
If you'd like to know what one of my masks is, it is me saying I'm excited to date again. Ha! I was never excited to date. I am scared out of my frickin mind! What I am excited about is the possibility of the mature decisions I am able to make to benefit my future. I am not excited to date and feel rejection and happiness and more rejection and more happiness and all of the ups and downs that come with dating.
{Maybe it'll end up being better than it is playing out in my mind? One can hope.}
Being "finally" divorced {in what was actually a pretty quick and painless divorce} just seems so final, so personally unstable, and so sad. I know I'd choose to do it all over again and not only because of the two children who are now mine forever. I'd choose to do it all over again because it was real love and we were really happy and life was hard and good. I've learned way too much to give any of that up. And my ex-husband (Could someone find me a better name than that? And not baby daddy...weirdos...) is my friend and we are both still invested in our children and their future.
But I'm still hiding behind so many masks because I'm afraid of change and the future and possibilities---because some possible outcomes aren't great and others are wonderful. 
 I lost 17 pounds and posted the above picture on Facebook because I was proud. But I almost immediately felt guilty because this picture was a mask. I haven't been losing weight because I love myself, I've been losing weight because I feel inadequate.
It's a hard balance because I feel like weightloss will make me more loveable, more beautiful, more everything but I know I should focus on the fact that losing weight will be good for my health. I choose to focus on the first part more than I should. I often do feel inadequate and I'm trying to make up for that in some way. I'm trying to wade through mucky fields filled with thorns and thistles and come out on top. I choose the hard way way too often. I blame myself for things that have happened because if I just would've been better, seen these things coming, been more giving, etc., they wouldn't have happened, right?

I use the phrase "I deserve this" a lot when it comes to my heartache but yesterday, while riding my bike to a park a few miles away, I had this overwhelming feeling of happiness and freedom and the very first thought that came into my mind was, "You deserve this!"

It's been a while since I've felt that way, so free and full of life. I thought the events from the past few years had stolen that from me but they haven't; I just lost it for a while.
So without any masks, who am I?

I am sensitive; more sensitive than I feel comfortable with. I'm trying to embrace that and just understand that I am who I am. My feelings get hurt easily but I'm also quick to forgive.
I am bubbly. I love laughing.
I am way too loud.
I speak before thinking.
I am insecure.
I want to be a good friend and a good mom and a good daughter and sister. I am a people pleaser.
I am afraid of people leaving me.
I have a strong testimony that Jesus Christ died for me and that He alone understands my pain.
I have a positive personality and can usually believe that things will get better when they're tough---and when things are good, I recognize it.

I'm trying to work on shedding some of my masks to be comfortable with who I am.
Because who I am should be good enough.

1 comment:

Jamie said...

I love this! You are awesome! I can imagine the rollar coaster of emotions (and then guilt that comes from feeling all the emotions you wonder if you should have felt...) You are strong and you will sort this all out!