Every Monday, I’ll post about discovering genuine hope and authentic answers for living a healthy life.
Doug, a member of the small group I attend at my church, wears a mask over his mouth and nose for health reasons. He’s had cancer and a transplant so his immune system is weak and he needs to guard his health. He has told us he doesn’t like wearing it. But, he does.
Doug’s mask is life-giving. It protects him from something real. He’s not hiding behind it. He’s not choosing to be fake.
What about us? It’s so tempting to wear masks so we can hide. Pretend to be perfect. Protect others from ourselves. To be fake.
It’s dangerous and damaging, as Jill Savage points out in her must read, No More Perfect Moms. It’s so understandable because there are so many false examples of perfection and ease around us. If we’re not careful, we think we have to have that, too.
As I’ve often pointed out and as Jill shares in her opening chapter:
- messy family problems aren’t all solved in 30 minutes even though TV sitcoms make us think that’s the case,
- mysteries aren’t all solved and neatly wrapped up in 60-minutes even though TV shows present that as normal, and
- reality shows aren’t real! Not only do they not show how real people live, but even reality shows “have been cut and edited so much that they sometimes misrepresent what really happened in a scene” (p. 19).
When we believe the lie from the media, social media, or remember unfortunate things our relatives told us, we’re tempted to hide behind masks because we’re acutely aware of our imperfections. We want to be perfect. We think we need to be. But, masks ruin everything.
- When we try to hide behind masks, we’re not really known. Then, we wonder why our relationships don’t work or seem shallow.
- When we try to hide behind masks, we temporarily ignore our struggles and weaknesses rather than working on changing them. Then we wonder why we’re still stuck in the past.
- When we try to hide behind masks, our children will eventually discover what’s hidden, but still there. Our lack of integrity and honesty will sour our relationship.
- When we try to hide behind masks, we’re not-so-subtly inviting children to wear masks, too. They’ll close us out and we won’t be able to really love them the way we were designed to.
Notice the phrase, “when we try”? It’s hard work to wear masks that don’t really fit. It takes energy. They’re uncomfortable. We’re uncomfortable. Lying isn’t effortless. The exact opposite is the case. We lose ourselves. And then others.
Masks matter. Identify yours. Try to take one off this week. If that’s scary, how about taking just a part of one off and finding at least 1-2 people to be honest with? Acceptance will be freeing. Real can become your reality. Authenticity can become your joy. One step at a time. One part of one mask at a time. When? How about now?
Please mark your calendar and plan to purchase Jill Savage’s new and important book, No More Perfect Moms, next week. It’s full of life lessons for you. In them, you’ll find peace and satisfaction. They’ll also help you raise children not striving for an impossible man-defined standard. I highly recommend her book. If you wait until next week, you can get $100 worth of bonuses. Check back here next Monday.
Check out the “No More Perfect Moms” website. And, sign up NOW to receive Jill’s free 31-day email challenge. It’s great stuff. Unless, of course, you’re not trying to be a perfect mom. Then it’s irrelevant.