THE WOMAN BEHIND THE MASK: What causes us to “lose” ourselves?


It’s the age old question…”who am I?” I’ve talked to so many women who have expressed concern and dismay over the feeling of having “lost” themselves. I’ve definitely struggled with it a time or two. Heck, I think we lose and find ourselves hundreds of times over during the course of a lifetime as we grow and change and life takes us in different directions. If you feel like you’ve lost yourself somewhere in the midst of marriage, maturing, babies, new careers, well meaning loved ones attempting to “help” you figure out who you are, and life event after life event, you’re so not alone!

We learn to hide behind masks that make things easy or keep us from being vulnerable with our true faces out there in the open for the world to see and critique. I think it happens for many different reasons, but here are a few of the most obvious to me:

1. Sometimes it’s because we’ve simply grown or changed and need to accept our new and improved version. Not that I’m trying to compare human beings to fancy technological devices…but you know what I mean, right? We just haven’t paid much attention to what’s happening until we find ourselves in the middle of a life that we didn’t anticipate, new life experiences have changed us in some way, or challenges have helped us to grow and develop in new and different directions. None of these are bad things. They’re just…different. We’re not necessarily hiding from something, we just haven’t taken the time to figure out who we’ve become.

2. Another reason could be that someone has been chipping away at us. Sometimes it’s critics who have their own selfish reasons for tearing us down, but more often then not, it’s actually people who love us dearly who do the most damage. They’re trying to “help” and the last thing they mean to do is harm. It’s a natural human instinct to want people to be more like us, or who we think they should be. It’s called the Pygmalion project, which comes from the Greek legend of a sculptor named Pygmalion who couldn’t find a single woman in Cyprus who fit his criteria. He set about to sculpt the perfect woman and labored obsessively and tirelessly until he had created his ideal woman…a perfect woman. He fell in love with her at first, but soon realized that she was a lifeless body that could never return his love or meet his needs. We have to be careful not to give into the temptation to chisel away at our loved ones. In attempting to make someone more or less of something, so that they better fit into the molds of who we think they should be, we risk chipping away at the true essence of who they are…what makes them unique and what we love about them in the first place. It’s so wrong. Women are very susceptible to this type of “chiseling.” We put the needs of others above our own and we naturally crave harmony in our relationships and lives. These great qualities can leave us vulnerable if we don’t have a firm sense of who we are and guard against the things that can chip away at us over time.

3. Lastly, sometimes it’s just our own dang fault. In pursuit of “who we are” we try on so many masks that we can’t even remember who’s behind them anymore. We work so hard to become something that we forget to focus on being someone. We doubt our own worth, so we try to copy others, and we just look silly doing it. I once decided I was going to try the hardcore sporty/athletic look (Think of Sporty Spice in her glory days). Although I can rock my Lululemon yoga fashion any day of the week, I just looked ridiculous in baggy warm-up suits and high-tops! (Do they even call them “high-tops” anymore?) On a serious note, It’s not really about how we dress. We hide our true and best qualities under masks because we either haven’t taken the time to get to know who we really are, or we just aren’t comfortable in our own skin…yet.

If any of these descriptions sound familiar, don’t lose hope. Most importantly, don’t give up on figuring yourself out! You were created to play a very important role in this life. Shrinking from your true self and hiding your unique qualities and talents serves no one.

Awareness is the first step in solving any problem. If you know you’ve lost yourself somewhere along the way, keep searching. You’ll figure it out!

What masks do you hide behind? Do you feel that you truly know yourself? I look forward to talking with you in the comments below!

With Love,


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TOO BUSY FOR PEACE: God’s message to the busy and overwhelmed!

Woman sitting at desk rubbing temples, eyes closedDon’t you just love it when God deals with you? I mean, it doesn’t always feel good. In fact, it’s often actually really hard and sometimes very painful, because it requires self-examination and change. But it’s always for our own good!

Recently, God has been working hard to teach me to “be still” in spite of a busy mind and a lot of big goals! I’m an over-thinker and it often causes me to feel anxious or distracted. It also paralyzes me from moving forward, because I’m so busy thinking about everything and looking at all of the angles that I forget to just start taking steps. Sound at all familiar?

The other night I was flipping through my Bible and stumbled across the story of Mary and Martha. Jesus went to their house and this is what happened:

“While Jesus and his followers were traveling, Jesus went into a town. A woman named Martha let Jesus stay at her house. Martha had a sister named Mary, who was sitting at Jesus feet and listening to him teach. But Martha was busy with all the work to be done. She went in and said ‘Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me alone to do all the work? Tell her to help me.’ But the Lord answered her, ‘Martha, Martha, you are worried and upset about many things. Only one thing is important. Mary has chosen the better thing and it will never be taken away from her.‘” Luke 10:38-42

Wow! Talk about a reality check. I think we can all relate to Martha! There’s a lot of work to be done and often not enough hours to get it all in…and it all seems really important! But Jesus still says that Mary, in her decision to sit and be with Jesus, chose the right thing. She chose to prioritize being fully present in her moment with God over all of the work that could have otherwise kept her busy. I can just see Jesus looking at Martha, with eyes full of love and understanding, as he reprimanded her for getting caught up in secondary priorities. In fact, I’m pretty sure He looks at me that way quite often as He reminds me of the very same thing.

The funny thing is that I had actually highlighted this story in my Bible the last time I read it and put a sticky note on the page for quick review. Apparently, I knew I needed it, but it hadn’t really sunk in. I needed that message then and I still need it now! Living a Spirit filled life – one in which we feel at peace and connected to God – requires that we stop living in “busy” mode and take time to pause and simply “be still” with God. God doesn’t operate it chaos. He speaks to us and renews our spirits when we take time to be with Him and to listen. Being “with God” is being at peace.

My busy mind is an asset when put to good use. It has allowed me to avoid all sorts of stumbling blocks and helped me to make a lot of good decisions. But I have to remember to keep it reined in and to keep my priorities in order. If we want to live in peace, we have to make time for meditation, reflection, and time with God. That’s how we replenish our souls and stay connected to the Spirit of God that lives within us. That’s how we learn to feel connected to His Spirit all day. You may think you can’t afford to take time for peace, but you can’t afford to live without it! In fact, living without it is living without one of Gods most important gifts to us. When Jesus left the earth to join His Father in heaven, he said “I leave you my peace.” Yet so many of us are still clinging to our craziness for fear of losing control.

As Jesus tells Mary and Martha, that connection and time can never be taken from us. The benefits of choosing the path of peace produce more positive in our lives than a whole lot of busy work or busy thoughts ever will. It’s not just a “30 minutes in the morning” kind of thing. It’s an “all day, in every decision and in every thought” sort of thing. It’s a way of living. I’m not saying hard work and careful analysis aren’t important, because they absolutely are. We just need to get our priorities straight and learn not to lose sight of priority number one while in pursuit of priority number two.

Now, I want to hear from you! What keeps you from living in peace and feeling connected to God? Have you figured out a way to overcome it? I look forward to hearing from you in the comments below!

With Love,