The Mask🎭

A mask begins to develop that is remarkably different from your authentic self

The absence of self-love as evidence by having low self-esteem or needing approval from others drives many people to look good on the outside while we are anything but good on the inside. A mask begins to develop that is remarkably different from your authentic self. This sets the stage for a counterfeit, it looks 👀 like what it is supposed to be although in actuality it isn’t. The major issue with wearing a mask(s) is that over time you lose who you are meant to be because you grow accustomed to being who you think 💭 you are supposed to be for other people.

TRANSPARENT MOMENT: I did not have my biological parents to raise me. As a result I experienced abandonment, neglect, rejection, isolation, poverty, physical abuse, molestation, confusion, dysfunction, fear, intimidation, anger, and ignorance. All of the above adversely affected my self-esteem, self-image, sense of self-worth, and ability to self-love. I sometimes felt that if the people who brought me into this world 🌏 didn’t want me then why should anybody else? I’ve learned from experience that self-esteem is the one thing that anyone can take away from you if you allow them to yet not just anyone can give, in the absence of self-love. You can receive all the compliments in the world 🌏 but these are only temporary fixes to a more permanent issue in relation to self-esteem in the absence of self-love. Self Love is something that we have to make a conscious quality decision to do to and for ourselves.

For Example: You may be complimented by a total stranger but if someone else says they don’t like something about you or what you have on you could immediately start to second guess yourself and your choice to wear that outfit. If you go out in public wearing what you feel is appropriate attire and someone says something about your clothes you might ask for a second opinion on what you felt was appropriate enough to leave the house 🏠 in. By the same token if you receive disapproval on your clothing you could instantly start to feel differently in them. What has changed? Nothing, other than your mindset about your attire simply because of what someone else thought 💭 and/or said 🗣️. The outfit is the same one that you left the house 🏡 wearing.

I would like to share a few excerpts from a poem that I wrote for my 1st English course at Bennett College about the mask that I use to wear and my journey to increased self-esteem and self-love…

The hardened external cover,

It’s contents never discover.

Underneath the surface lies a sensitive place,

Accompanied with hurt and much disgrace.

Afraid of one’s perception of things,

No one can comprehend the pain it brings.

To think the thing that bothers me, 

Must be worn externally.

The face which can not be changed,

In my case I wish, only rearranged.

Wonder why when walking I stare at the floor?

To hide my face, wish I could do more.

To heal myself I steel away to pray,

Knowing God will get me through the day.

Day by day as I grow I see,

Just how much beauty is inside of me.

Through God I’ve been able to find,

More self-esteem and peace of mind.

Written By:  Latisha R. Stuckey

Copy Written: August 24, 1998

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