To start off this post as you follow along with my heart journey, I am going to share a shortened version the the song "Beneath Your Beautiful" performed by Labrinth and featuring Emeli Sandé:
... You've carried on so long You couldn't stop if you tried it You've built your wall so high That no one could climb it But i'm gonna try Would you let me see beneath your beautiful Would you let me see beneath your perfect Take it off now girl, take it off now girl I wanna see inside Would you let me see beneath your beautiful tonight ... You've carried on so long You couldn't stop if you tried it You've built your wall so high That no one could climb it But i'm gonna try Would you let me, see beneath your beautiful Would you let me, see beneath your perfect Take it off now boy, take it off now boy I wanna see inside Would you let me see beneath your beautiful tonight? ... I just wanna know Would you let me see beneath your beautiful Would you let me see beneath your perfect Take it off now boy, take it off now girl Cause I wanna see inside Would you let me see beneath your beautiful tonight? ...
Songwriters ~ Sande, Emeli / Mckenzie, Timothy / Posner, Mike
In elementary I learned that being beautiful was wearing the right clothes (I was always teased because my mom didn't have the money to spend on the name brand clothing) or have the right look (to make it easier on my mom, she cut my hair short, so, that made me look like a boy or if it was a styled cut she didn't have time to help me style it).
Finally, When I could afford it myself, I bought into the whole charade when I was in High School:
I thought if I got a perm and try to make my hair nicer, maybe people would like me better.
I thought if I wear makeup and make my face look nicer, maybe people would like me better.
I thought if I buy clothes that are in style (we still could not afford name brand clothing but I found several places in town I could shop that had cheaper versions of name brands), maybe people would like me better.
After I was married, I completely stopped caring what I looked like. I sometimes (it is embarrassing to admit) even didn't take a shower. Falling into a depression that took years for me to realize and come out of, I didn't take care of myself.
After a move to a town near my home town, I was approached by a local woman who sold make-up. I again, bought into the "you have to wear make-up to be beautiful" lie. I bought all the make-up I could and started selling make-up too. Still in my depression (and not realizing it), the pressure to sell and promote my new business made me feel even worse about myself. I eventually left the business but continued to buy product from her (and still do today). Disclaimer: I am not saying that the direct sales make-up business isn't a great one. I know some amazingly wonderful ladies who are still involved in the business and thrive in it. It just wasn't for me and my outlook on life at the time.
Still through it all, I truly believed that in order to feel well on the inside, you had to look well on the outside. What I didn't realize then, that I do now, is that for some women, that is a mask. I was trying to mask how I felt on the inside with how I looked on the outside. This kind of mask is what I call a complete mask, a masking of the soul. I was masking, very unsuccessfully, all the hurt and pain I have inside.
And yet again, what I was missing from all that, was Jehovah, my one true Father. Over time, I have learned to wear my hurt proudly. To not "make-up" myself to mask all that hurt. To let others see I am the same on the inside as I am on the outside. To not care what others think, because what matters most is how God sees me and how I feel about myself. When I started letting all that go, became the point when I truly felt I am beautiful. I am at the point in my life where I can "take off my mask," show my true self and start to allow Jehovah to shine through me. And let me tell you, it feels GREAT!
"We intend to hide our shortcomings, and the fear inside our hearts, but instead, we hide our beauty, our true selves." ~ Jo Ann Fore
Please click the picture above to read other beautiful women's stories about masks and why we wear them. Watch what happens When A Woman Finds Her Voice. I challenge you to take off your masks, let the world see beneath your beautiful and have a blessed day!