Paul Laurence Dunbar (1872-1906)

We Wear 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,
And mouth with myriad subtleties.

Why should the world be over-wise,
In counting all our tears and sighs?
Nay, let them only see us, while
We wear the mask.

We smile, but, O great Christ, our cries
To thee from tortured souls arise.
We sing, but oh the clay is vile
Beneath our feet, and long the mile;
But let the world dream otherwise,
We wear the mask!

My lack of being true to myself has created some unfortunate frustration for me. I’m at a crossroads in my career where I’m really not sure what path I need to take, because I only know a little about the destination I want. I’m learning to live as a wife without putting unrealistic expectations of what that means onto myself (a post of it’s own to come soon!). And I’m still trying to adjust all of this into still being the same me…daughter, sister, and friend.  Y’all, I told my husband last night that I wanted to jump out of my skin…because frankly…I’m tired of wearing the mask.

So today, at this moment, I am laying it down, unveiling the good, bad, sad, greatness, amazement, worst, and just the all of me. I want to move full on speed to staying true to myself…my Authenticity!

The closer I get to turning the 4-0 (next year), I’m getting “uncomfortable”.  Which reminds me of  a sermon that my pastor, Olu Brown, spoke on a year or so ago…that pretty much when you are “uncomfortable”, God is in the process of moving you to something else. And I feel that!!! Just not sure what that something else is!!! And my situation is not helped by my tendency to “overthink”, “overanalyze” everything (blame the English major in me).  But whatever the something else is…I wish it would come on already! LOL… yes, patience is a virtue that I’m working on too. In the meanwhile…I’m going to live with purpose. The purpose of being me authentically and not feel the need to apologize for that.  I’m going to put the mask down, pick up the mirror and heavily study the image that looks back at me…. What does she want? Who does she desire to be? What is she about?  Those questions and more will be answered and my desires will come into fruition. I just have to keep steady on the pace, not give up, and lastly don’t pick that mask back up (such a cowardly move!) just for the sake of others! Time to put myself first and move into the life I was made to have. Life is so full of possibilities…ready to see which ones belong to me.

As always,  I would LOVE to hear from y’all!!! What does being authentic mean to you? What are some things that you have done to live an authentic life?  Inspire…empower…share!

Peace,Love, Life, Faith


One thought on “Authenticity

  1. Quite frankly, experiencing trials and tribulations in life has prompted me to uncover the “true me.” Having immersed myself in work (and more work) for years contributed to my wearing the mask. One day, I looked up and did not recognize the direction my life was going in. Slightly terrifying! My recent layoff PUSHED me to discover my true self. I’ve spent more time simply inspecting and introspecting in a few weeks than I have in a very long time. To answer your question, I think to be authentically you, one must understand what makes them happy in life. This happiness, in my opinion, will be related to the unique gifts that God has placed in side of you. Walking with the Father will lead you closer to that “authentic self.”

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