In the spirit of Halloween being just around the corner, I thought it would be appropriate to talk about the masks we wear in everyday life – and how many of us try to be someone we are not. So many people feel as if they need to be “someone else” in order to gain their approval (guilty!). But, after making so many discoveries this year about myself and others, and learning more about Jesus, I’m learning that it’s okay to be me. I cannot control what others think of me. I have always been criticized for my style, things I wear, being “extra,” wearing too much pink, etc. But, I can’t keep apologizing for that. It may not be your cup of tea, but we are all made UNIQUE in our own ways. There is NO ONE else like ME. I have struggled with this particular issue with family and different friend groups. The bottom line – I wanted to be accepted and loved. Why? Isn’t that what all humans crave? Love? It’s been ingrained in me since I was little, and trying to change my beliefs about myself and replace them with God’s truth is key. In situations where I feel as if I am trying too hard to gain approval, I usually act confident, but in my head, I’m just over-analyzing WHAT the other person is thinking and it’s not healthy. SO, I have a couple different options. I can either become more insecure and let my thoughts run wild and try to change someone else’s view of me. OR, I can pray about it and give it over to God. I can’t change or control other people’s thoughts and opinions, but ultimately, there is only one person I report to at the end of the day. My job is to honor and love the Lord with my words and actions – and I fail at this every day too! And, you know what else? I can also pray for these situations and people that make me feel inferior. This is something I am actively working on. I want to act out of love, and in order to do that, I NEED Jesus. I need him to constantly soften my heart, to open my eyes and reveal to me my part, MY sin. Sometimes, I am so focused on myself and my feelings that I don’t have the opportunity to focus on loving and serving others. Living authentically can be very hard, but it has been very rewarding and humbling. This requires surrendering to the Lord – it is not an overnight fix, but I know I have made progress 😊 I am also ATTEMPTING to be authentic on the internet – I think that’s what we are all longing for – someone who is real and relatable in this crazy world we live in. At least, that’s what I look for. Of course, I tend try to control people’s perception of me by the pictures & clothes I am wearing, etc. – but I think realizing THAT is a start, right?! I am still in process of praying through my “relationship” with social media, but all I can do is put myself out there, share my story & how Jesus is working in my life, and let the Lord handle the rest!
In honor of World Mental Health Day, I wanted to take a moment to encourage YOU to be open and honest about your feelings. No struggle you are going through is too big and I can guarantee that you are not alone in your feelings. Talk to a friend, a stranger, a family member or someone at a church. If you stay in isolation, it can be a very dark and lonely place. I have been there – but please know you are SO loved and your voice matters.
Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1-800-273-8255