unveiling the mask - are you hiding under yours

This is a week where children are clamoring to try on their latest costume. Excitement permeates the air as they become someone by which they typically only dream.

Hiding behind a mask, they have Superman powers or Cinderella’s beauty and grace. They are unstoppable in who they pretend to be and they are affirmed in that role as they embrace a new reality. (Scroll below to see practical parenting tips for this.)

But what about you, sweet girlfriends?

When you look in the mirror, do you don a mask of perfection and performance?  Or maybe  hide behind another mask for fear of reaction? Lies whisper shame and accusation, “You’ll never measure up – if only they knew!”

And then we listen; we listen and embrace a lie! It’s bondage and often the weight we carry is too heavy.

Women are really good at that, but why? 

Do you need someone today to tell you how special you are,  to affirm your appointed role whether it be in your family, marriage, workforce, or ministry?

I may not know your circumstances, nor understand your background personally, but I do know ONE thing…you were uniquely created by God for an amazing purpose. You have been appointed to do amazing things right where you are, in whatever role you serve.

95% of  teen girls believe the lie that they “must perform to be loved and accepted.” Did you read that correctly? 95%!!  I have daughters and my heart’s desire is for them to know their truth worth. Why don’t we believe our own? The statistic for adult women is not much less.

Precious Ladies, our worth is not based on what others think of us, or what we do. And that is so hard to process, especially when it feels so personal.

Our value is determined by how God views us and He loves us more than we can ever fathom…warts and all. 🙂

I guess that’s why I’m passionate that this be a place where we can share both our beauty AND our bedlam, a little corner where everyone can be free to take off those masks.

We aren’t meant to go it alone, but it can still be such a lonely place.

So use the comments section as a place to dialogue.  I speak with so many women every year who struggle with this issue, myself included. It’s difficult to be real and authentic when we live in a society that stresses perfection, and doesn’t have the time to care about your struggles.

I do care, and I wish I could give you each a hug.  I’ve been there, I know. It seems like no matter how old we are, we still struggle with those “I’ll never be on Prom Court” tendencies.

So, pour yourself some coffee, and enjoy browsing all these amazing blogs, but please don’t compare yourself to a “virtual life” or let “appearances” make you feel inadequate. For instance, I may be able to dress well on a Frugal Fashionista budget, but right now, I have stacks of laundry piled on my bedroom sofa, and it’s been there forever (just sayin’ :).

This week, as you watch the “dress up” anticipation grow, remember that this may be just the time to let that mask down, and revel in your wonderful uniqueness.

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I first shared this in 2009, but it still rings truth deep in my heart since I shared about this on periscope this past week.

Practical parenting tips regarding this topic:

Since masks and disguises are all part of the fun of Fall Festivals/Halloween, use this as a time to dialogue with your children about honesty and authenticity.

Affirm your little Princess with the truth that she will always be your princess no matter what she does, how she does it and you will love her the same, even if she makes poor choices.

Talk about honesty, sharing feelings in a appropriate way ,and encourage her self worth and character…not her performance.

As parents, we need to let statistics work for us. If 95% of teen girls feel they don’t measure up, your responsibility is to break that cycle now and enable your daughter to fall in that 5%. We have one daughter who almost daily is told of her beauty. I cringe when I hear that because her value can not be based on what she look like. External beauty fades. As parents, we desire her inner beauty and character to be cultivated. We want to groom her heart – her love, generosity, kindness, not her looks.

For our Supermen, affirm their worth, strength and the strong character virtues such as courage, bravery, chivalry, honesty, and yes, even sensitivity. (Just to name a few.) Developing Godly men based on how God sees them, and not based on how well they play sports, is a challenge. (This coming from a sports mama.)

Change your verbiage to encourage perseverance and persistence, instead of “Great job…nice play. You’re a great athlete.” The subtle differences in how we speak to our children will enable them to not put those masks on in the first place.

I wrote about the one little perspective change that profoundly impacted how I mother. It has so much to do with this.

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