Let’s talk about masks. A timely topic, don’t you think?
If you are as old as I am, you may remember the Lone Ranger television series. The climax of each episode was when people would stare off at the Lone Ranger as he rode away, asking “Who was that masked man?” I chuckle at how confused the Lone Ranger would be today after experiencing global identity theft! We’re all masked men and women!
A recent trip to Costco during the beginning of the mask-wearing practice left me feeling deflated, and a bit sad. No one was establishing eye contact, and any attempt at social engagement was nil. There was a suspicious fear in the air. It seemed no one could trust that others were safe. This of course was creating that catchy phrase of ‘social distancing’. The atmosphere felt heavy to me.
Masks. We are wearing them now because either we choose to, or someone else chooses for us. We are wearing them now because someone has told us they will prevent us from either spreading disease or contracting disease. And these masks are as varied as the folks wearing them. But one constant is that they are all visible.
Let’s talk about invisible masks. Webster defines a mask as a manner or expression that hides one’s true character or feelings; a pretense. There you have it – the invisible mask. There are a number of reasons we tend to develop these invisible masks. Fear and shame certainly top the list. If you see who I really am…If I let you know what I really feel… Sometimes we even trick ourselves into thinking the mask is who we really are, rather than a cover for those things about ourselves we find unlovable and unacceptable.
In 1 Corinthians 3:18, Paul says…and we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory,which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit. One of the amazing results of Christ’s sacrifice for our sin is that God put the wrong on Him who never did anything wrong, so we could be put right with God (2 Corinthians 5:21). The good news is: We can come out from behind our masks! The process of maturing in Christ coaxes us out of the many ways we are hiding.
God knows what exists behind the masks, and He loves and accepts us still.
Removing the invisible masks we wear in human relationships can feel so scary because it makes us vulnerable. There is risk. But removing our masks also creates the opportunity to emotionally connect with others in a beautiful way. The feeling of being wholly known and yet loved is the path of life and freedom. Removing our masks with truly safe people can be healing and transformative. Schedule and appointment with an Envision therapist today to begin that process.