The timer dinged – had it already been 10 minutes? Brooke and I looked at each, grinned, and raced to the bathroom. These monthly “spa days” were fun. We would try out new products we found and chat, while we waited for the polish to dry, the pore strips to do their thing or, in this case, the clay mask to harden.
We started at the top, peeling away the green clay from our foreheads, revealing more new skin with a pinky hue. It was a competition, of sorts, to see who could get the entire mask off in one piece. Eventually, the mask pulled loose from our noses and cheeks and chins.
She and I crowded into the mirror, looking closely to see whether our skin looked renewed and vibrant. Usually, it hadn’t, but the experience had been fun. On a spa day, Brooke and I removed our masks and talked.
There are many masks we put on. I have masks that keep others from seeing the real me, because I don’t want to be judged or laughed at or dismissed. So, I cover my actions, opinions and thoughts with masks of various materials. I cover with education, overcompensation with false bravado (bravada?). I cover with anger to hide my insecurity. I cover with haughty pride to mask my uncertainty.
But now that you know God–or rather are known by God–how is it that you are turning back to those weak and miserable principles? Do you wish to be enslaved by them all over again? – Galatians 4:9
Those masks are warm and comfortable, but they keep us from forming and maintaining authentic relationships. Masks keep us in character, not displaying our characters. For my sister and me, it’s the removal of those literal masks that give us the opportunity of disposing of the figurative ones.
How do you ensure authentic communication in your relationships?