I felt like a mouse hiding behind the walls of my house. Peeking out every now and then, hoping the cat doesn’t see me. I’m starving for attention, I want to be noticed and loved on; yet if I crawl out of my hiding, the cat will pounce on me and eat me alive. I am afraid to be myself.
I’m really a person hiding behind a mask. I believe the mask protects me from others around me, for they can’t see who I really am. I feel safe yet I’m starving for attention, to people to know the real me. If I take the mask off, people will tease and make fun of me. Some will even walk out of my life. I am afraid to be myself.
How You Think of Yourself Matters
I’ve always based on what I thought of myself, by what others thought of me. I suppose that came from being the youngest in my family and not ever standing up for myself. Maybe I felt like I wasn’t worth much. Therefore, it was a simple task to put on a mask and be whoever others wanted me to be.
If I wanted to be strong and confident, then I’d wear that mask. If I wanted to also look successful, I’d choose an outfit that would portray success. It was as if I was a character in a play, but never being able to play myself. Nor, why would I want to? To me, I was a nobody.
Suddenly, I remembered the childhood phrase – ‘sticks and stones can break your bones but names will never hurt you.’ I knew it was not a true statement. For I had beaten myself up with words more times than not, over the years.
If words can hurt, they can also help. I made a list of empowering words – I believe in me; I am confident and strong; I am worthy. I was able to change my ‘stinking-thinking’ to become a more positive person. Which in turn, helped me change how I thought of myself.
How to Let Go of What Others Think
Once you can accept yourself for who you are and know that God loves you no matter what; then it doesn’t matter what others think of you. Don’t give them a stronghold. Step away from those who are toxic and only want to see you give up. They’re not worth your time or your effort. They’re only concerned about themselves, and how they perceive things to be.
The moment I accepted myself, my mask fell off, and I began letting go of what others thought of me. It was like a dam broke and all the negativity was being washed downstream. There was peace and freedom all around and I often wondered why I hadn’t done it sooner.
We need supporting and encouraging friends wherever we go. Although we tend to want to influence others with what works for us, we need to accept the fact that it might not be what’s best for them. We need to accept the differences in each other.
What Happens When You Accept Yourself?
When we take off our masks and step out of the shadows, we become the lights on a hill for all the world to see. God created us to shine brightly for Him with all the colors of a rainbow. When we accept ourselves, we accept everything about us – our quirks, our abilities and disabilities, our silliness, our moods, our uniqueness, and more. God accepts every part of us, as we need to do the same for others, as well.
Everyone matters in this world. God created everyone of us to not only love Him, but love our neighbors as ourselves. No matter who you are, what you do, where you live, how you act, or whom you love…God Loves You.
Loving yourself is the key to a successful life. When you love yourself, you treat yourself with respect. You care about your own well-being. When you do those things, then you will do them for others as well.
Let’s continue to encourage and support each other. Take a few moments to check out my “Bridging Hearts Through Words” store (just click on the mug) and then join me below in a conversation of how what masks you’ve thrown out over the years, or which ones you’re having trouble peeling off.
What mask have you found yourself hiding behind and why? Share with us in the comments