Taking Off the Mask of Pretense (2)

Taking Off the Mask of Pretense (2)

A Story by Carole

This is a piece for a Christian Devotional Book that will contain pieces about "Getting Real." Sort of an "in your face" sort of thing. Tell me what you think.



Taking Off the Mask of Pretense

You know, I can't remember the exact time and moment when God began dealing with me about being "Real" and "Taking off the Mask of Pretense."  I could run with the big dogs.  I was a master chameleon. The best of the best.  I knew my traits and I knew them well.  I could change personalities in a moments notice.  I was whatever people wanted me to be:  The Classic People Pleaser.  If they were rich, I could play the snob.  If they were having a pity party, I could join in and gravel in the dirt with simple ease.  If they were smart and intelligent, I could pretend I knew what they were talking about.  Joke telling was a cinch.  I laughed along with the rest of the crowd whether I knew the meaning of the joke or not.  After all, I could pretend. God forbid should I sit there with a blank stare on my face and say, "I don't understand!"  They would think I was the stupidest person on the planet...I hate to say it, but to be honest, I had become a "Fake."  Oh, I didn't do it on purpose.  It just happened.   


I was so afraid of being "Me."  I was petrified that if people really KNEW me, they wouldn't like me or accept me.  When God started dealing with me about "Taking off the Mask," letting down my guard and being myself, I was ready.  It was way, way too much work trying to be what "I thought" everyone wanted or expected me to be.  Whenever I got in a situation where I had to "Play the Game of Pretense," I quickly grew weary, not to mention exhausted .  Every where I turned, I saw the same old thing.  "Fakiness" & "Pretense!"..."Fakiness" & "Pretense!" Striving to be something that quite simply, wasn't. I had finally had ENOUGH!   I had begun experiencing a holy dissatisfaction; the discontentment that comes upon us when God is getting ready to bring a change into our lives.

There were so many unspoken rules, even in church.  "You shop where?  Well, I would never think of shopping in that store.  It's not the "IN" store.  You live WHERE?  You do KNOW that is not the PRESTIGIOUS part of town, don't you?"  Very often, not a word had to be spoken.  You knew what what they were thinking.  You could read it on their faces through their facial expression or by their gestures as they gave you the "EYE" and looked you all over from your head to your toes with a look of disapproval and subtle disgust.  You know the look!

A glorious day of transformation happened the day I began taking steps towards being "Me" regardless of the sneers and lofty looks!  FREEDOM had come.  Oh, it wasn't easy, but I DID IT with God's strength.  The STRIVING has ceased. I made a steadfast determination to be myself wherever I go and no matter what kind of people I am with.  If anyone asks me where I live, I answer confidently.  If asked where I bought something I am wearing, whether from Walmart or Tar(jay) or another store I frequent, I tell them "Walmart"..."Tar(jay)!" etc.  I am no longer worried about what they will think of me.  My self worth isn't wrapped up in where I live or where I shop.  It is in Christ

I have more peace now than I EVER thought possible.  If people like me, Praise the Lord!  If they don't, Praise the Lord anyway!  Some will.  Some won't.  It's all a part of life.  The PEACE that comes with being ourselves is incredible.  Did you hear that pin drop?

© 2009 Carole

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This is a �soapbox� topic of mine and I loved it!

Peer pressure starts at a very young age in today�s so called intellectually aware and astute society. And, once culturally brainwashed into this ideology, the hardest person to find is ourselves.

It is great to read �awakenings� of the inner soul; which you concisely and poignantly addressed, and; �When the epiphany finally hit..� said it all!

The freedom that accompanies these spiritual self moments is mind blowing and makes us kick ourselves for not feeling this way sooner.

Your story also reminded me of a saying my Granny used to quote at my Granddad ;

�It�s better to be thought a fool, than to open your mouth and prove it!�

A brilliantly presented, written and thought provoking story.

God�s Blessing

Posted 16 Years Ago

6 of 6 people found this review constructive.


carol, this is affirmation of awareness, the metaphorical idea of taking off the mask is effective and is able to create an image to which to identify the relationship between pretense and moving foward, progression,
your words leave the reader with a sense of new found insight, its truly food for thought that humbles the heart, the spiritual aspect of deliverance is encouraging, the cause become clear, in freedom, beautifully written, you did an exceptional with expressing the moment in happening, leaves the reader with peace.

Posted 16 Years Ago

2 of 2 people found this review constructive.

It is SO difficult to give up that mask, isn't it? For years, I was picked on and beat up and ignored for not wearing the right clothes or saying the right thing. As I age (gracefully, I hope), I discover I have less tolerance for the posturing and the posing of many people. To slide yourself out of those patterns of people-pleasing is an ongoing process.

Excellent thoughts on this subject matter. Be careful to show, not tell, and watch for repetition (not necessarily the same words, but the same idea repeated in a different sentence).

I'm glad you have realized the trap you had originally made for yourself and are taking the steps to get out of it. When we realize who our true friends are, we know bliss.

Posted 16 Years Ago

2 of 2 people found this review constructive.

This reminds me of one of my all-time favorite poems:

We Wear the Mask
Paul Lawrence Dunbar

We wear the mask that grins and lies,
It hides our cheeks and shades our eyes,--
This debt we pay to human guile;
With torn and bleeding hearts we smile,
And mouth with myriad subtleties.

Why should the world be overwise,
In counting all our tears and sighs?
Nay, let them only see us, while
We wear the mask.

We smile, but, O great Christ, our cries
To thee from tortured souls arise.
We sing, but oh the clay is vile
Beneath our feet, and long the mile;
But let the world dream otherwise,
We wear the mask!

I have a tendency to obsess a little over "The Mask." When I was a child, I was thoroughly convinced that no one was real other than me and at night, they all took off their masks. I tried, in vain, to catch my parents at it. As I grew older, I finally realized that it's a metaphoric mask more than literal.

This is a very nice write and very thought-provoking. I'm glad that you decided to take yours off! Cheers for you!

Posted 16 Years Ago

2 of 2 people found this review constructive.

I like this piece even though I cannot say I ever had the trouble you are suggesting..Born into a family of 9 children, my mom a published poet..I just fit in with the poor and the higher ups. I always dressed to suit me and can see what trying to keep up with others could do..I think if you start always just being you that you will fit in if you have the education and the brains to do it..from your picture I would say you were born with beauty and brains..God bless valentine

Posted 16 Years Ago

2 of 2 people found this review constructive.

They aren't your friends Carole and never were! So many are "people pleasers" it only makes you feel bad about yourself and if you look at these "fake" people...they don't even know who they are! Be yourself in all things.
Good rant about an important issue.

Posted 16 Years Ago

2 of 2 people found this review constructive.

I think you found yourself and what makes you happy in life. God tells us that is the begging of wisdom. May God bless all you do and have favor on you, RodneyRay

Posted 16 Years Ago

2 of 2 people found this review constructive.

Now it's YOUR turn! YOU GO GIRL ! That was brilliant and wonderful, Carole.

I do feel I have been there too, and sometimes I forget and slip ... I always manage to rediscover that part of me, and Im soo glad each and every time that I do.

It is rather revolutionary, isn't it?

Way to go!

Posted 16 Years Ago

2 of 2 people found this review constructive.

For me, it started out very early. In junior high I began rebelling against what the "in" crowd found socially acceptable. And I paid a high price for it, at the time. High school wasn't full of my favorite memories but I stayed true to myself. I came out a much stronger and happier person for it. I've moved away from that small town, and those small minds, and made my own life. Meanwhile they are still hung up on appearances. I may buy something at Walmart or Bloomingdale's as it matters not. If I like it, I like it. It's that simple. Kudos to you for finding your way and being yourself. Some people never have the strength to do it at all. Your true friends will like the real you, anyway. There is nothing I dislike more than fake people.

Great job and thanks for sharing.

Posted 16 Years Ago

4 of 4 people found this review constructive.

Applause, and a stand-up ovation for you Carole. Thank you for sharing your journey to personal freedom and comfort with being you. I didn't wake up to the concept of just being me until I became 60. And it's a nice place to be...not worrying about what others think.

Note change gravel to grovel in the dirt.

Posted 16 Years Ago

5 of 5 people found this review constructive.

Carole this story is just great, I have done the same as you.. hid behind that mask..
I an glad you don't mind saying you shop at Wally world ( Wal Mart) and Target or as you say Tar
jay.. the pretense is so hard on you it takes alot of time and nerves.
I decided that I would be who I am and if people did not like me then true friends they were not.

I enjoyed this, well written and full of meaning, a great message and lesson for us..


Posted 16 Years Ago

5 of 5 people found this review constructive.

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12 Reviews
Added on February 6, 2008
Last Updated on January 1, 2009



Rio Rancho, NM

There comes a point in your life when you realize: Who matters, Who never did, Who won't anymore... And who always will. So, don't worry about people from your past, there's a reason why they didn.. more..


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