Last week I saw Phantom of the Opera for the first time. I don’t know why I waited so long to see such a wonderful piece of art! WOW! I left not only pondering the plot, but also thinking about the masks we wear. Why is it that we feel like we have to hide who we really are for others? I think its because we are afraid. What if others don’t like me? What if they reject me or make fun of me? It somehow seems safer behind the mask
I’ve come to realize that while it may seem safer behind the mask, it is because it builds up walls around our true selves. The longer we wear the mask, the thicker the walls become. I’m convinced that we can’t truly experience love and grace as long as we wear the mask.
Christy saw the man behind the mask. While she did not love the Phantom with a romantic love, she grew to love him nonetheless. Can we truly experience intimacy (I’m talking relational, not physical) with others while wearing a mask? I don’t think so. This week I’ve had two people I care about deeply risk taking off the mask. As they shared their deep dark secrets, I found my admiration for them skyrocketing. They both endured incredible hardships, yet there faith remains strong. One of the reasons I started this blog, is to bring taboo things out of darkness into the light. For too long, we’ve avoided talking about suicide and mental illness because we didn’t understand. The only way we will ever understand is if we listen to those who struggle and hear what they have to say.
Well it seems to me we have a choice to make. We can continue to hide behind our masks where it is safe and suffer alone or we can dare to be who we truly are. In writing my book, I am taking off the mask. I am sharing personal things that may cause others to judge me. They may reject me. I know its risky, but I’ve never been one to play it safe!