The Mask. 🎭

We wear the mask that grins and lies,
It hides our cheeks and shades our eyes,
This debt we pay to human guile; 
With torn and bleeding hearts we smile,
                       – Paul Laurence Dunbar 

When I was in middle school, I had a really difficult time coming into who I was. Me. I was actually a huge follower because I just didn’t know where I fit in. I struggled with my individuality. I hid and did everything that I could to just fit in and not be different. It wasn’t until high school that I truly began to come into myself and see myself for who I really was. I was different but I found comfort because it was where I was happiest. Unfortunately, there were still things that I would hide from people about me. Things that I didn’t feel like they would understand. So I focused on the things I was good with. I was comfortable enough in myself that I was fine, but I was also comfortable with those other couple of characteristics that I would just keep to myself. I didn’t even really show them to people that were closest to me. 

How can we be truly be loved if we don’t give our true selves to be loved?

Six years later, I have come to find, that I’m still hiding. There are still parts of me that I don’t show to many people for fear of them not understanding, along with the fact that when I did try to open up in the past, I wasn’t received. I just wasn’t. So I put those things back into hiding so that I wouldn’t even have to talk about them. I didn’t have to worry about them. It wasn’t until an event happened in my life and I had a conversation with a very close loved one that it really hit me. I HAVE TO STOP HIDING! I have to remove the mask. The mask of conformity. The mask of wanting to be like this person or that person. The mask of feeling like only these certain characteristics are what make Jazmine, Jazmine. I can’t live like that anymore. God didn’t create me to be like that. There is SO MUCH more to me than what meets the eye. 

He created me to be the woman that I’m supposed to be. Though I don’t know my full potential today, I do know the interests and unique characteristics that He gave me and I have to stop hiding them. For fear or not being received or even judged. Let me make this declaration: 

If ANYONE doesn’t receive and love you for who you are, they don’t deserve such a close place in your life. Maybe it’s time for you to transition away from them. It’s not fair to you to feel like you have to hide. Come out of the darkness. Remove the mask. 

It’s really that simple. It’s not. But with time, it will be. With GOD, it will be. We have to stop hiding. We have to remove the mask. We are to be who He created us to be. He loves us regardless of what other people think. He will also surround us with those people who are supposed to accept and love us in that way. I’ve gotten so used to hiding that I never even realized that it was the root of a lot of my current hurt. As I write right now, I’m in tears because I’m uncomfortable. I’m uncomfortable in my realization. I’m not going to lie and say that it’s going to be easy. It may not be. But as I have said before, if you are comfortable, you aren’t growing. It take time. It takes honesty. It takes understanding that you have take steps that you may not have made before. But with God, all things are possible. He will help you through it. I promise you that. Just trust Him.

We are going to make it. This life is a journey. Not a destination. STOP HIDING. Trust Him. Pray for me as I pray for you. Be encouraged. 

– J. ❤️

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