What mask do you have on?

September 5, 2016

“He wears a mask, and his face grows to fit it.”  (George Orwell) – as seen on the Jack’s Winning Words blog recently.

To some extent we all wear masks, which are the “faces” that we show to the public. For mask3some those benign looking masks hide the ugly truths of hate or bigotry behind them; for some the masks are displays happiness or loud self-confidence that really hides the fears and insecurities of the wearers. What mask do you have on?

As Jack mentioned in his post, some of the characteristics of the face that we present to the public is the result of our upbringing. Motherly advice like “play nice and share with others” may have added a characteristic to our faces; or perhaps dad’s advice to keep a stiff upper lip and never cry in public has shaped our faces. Many men were taught to be stoic and women to be pleasant as they were growing mask4up, so those are the masks that they wear. Some times that pleasant demeanor hides the pain of an abusive relationship or a loveless marriage. What mask do you have on?
When Jack made the post to his blog about this quote he added –  A certain church urged its members to be the face of Christ to others.  How’s that for a mask?  Think about that for a moment. What would the mask on your face look like if it were a mask of the face of Christ? How would the compassion and concern and caring and love that Jesus showed the world, even from the cross look as a mask upon your face? Would things look different to you if you looked out through that mask? Would wearing that mask make you act any differently? Would you, indeed, grow to fit the mask? What mask do you have on?

Every morning when you get up you have a choice to make about the mask that you put on for the day. Women even have a saying that they are “putting on a face”, when they are mask2applying their makeup. My wife every now and then will say to our dog Skippy, “Help mommy put on a face”, to which (if I have overheard that) I will chime in with, “Choose a happy one.” You could certainly assure that you would have a happy face on if you choose each morning to put on the mask of Christ for the world to see – a caring, compassionate, loving, giving and helping face. What mask do you have on?

A really good public speaker that I listened to some time back pointed out that most of us mask1have no idea what our own faces look like when they are at rest – when you aren’t trying to smile or show any emotions at all. Our faces have a natural tendency to droop into a frown or to assume and unfriendly continence. The mask that comes over our faces is not inviting to others and we aren’t even aware of it. Perhaps if we did put on the mask of Christ in the morning, we would have enough to smile about all day long not to let our faces droop into that unfriendly mien. So, before you go out every morning this week, ask yourself – What mask do you have on?

When you put on a face in the morning, put on the mask of Christ and have a great and happy looking week ahead.


Are you moving on?

September 2, 2016

“Sometimes you don’t get closure, you just move on.”  (Unknown) – from a post on my favorite source, the Jack’s Winning Words blog.

The concept of wanting to get “closure” on things that happen in your life is, at its root, an admission that you can’t move on, you can’t get past that incident, that rejection or snubwondering or that disappointment that you’ve just suffered. In fact, wanting to get “closure” may just be your method of prolonging the suffering; which, in some people, may be what they base their life around. We sometime hear of people described as “long suffering”; which means that they can’t get (or perhaps won’t accept) “closure” on some incident in their life. Just move on…

I would submit that almost all of the time people don’t get “closure” they just move on. I looked up “closure” and the best definition that I found that fits here is this one – Closure or need for closure are psychological terms that describe an individual’s desire for a firm answer to a question and an aversion toward ambiguity. The term “need” denotes a motivated tendency to seek out information. Just move on…

It’s that need (some might say obsession) for firm answers to why things happen in life that drives some people bonkers. They just can’t accept that some things that happenbored don’t have a firm or even logical reason or answer. Why did you get turned down for that date or that promotion? There is no closure to be had.  Why were you the one that got robbed or got hit in the accident. There is no closure there. Why were you the only one in your family to get breast cancer? There are no answers.  Just move on…

Life is much too complex and full of ambiguities to be reduced to firm answers for everything that happens to a person. Expending a whole lot of energy or time seeking answers to the why of the occurrences in life seems to be a big waste of that time and energy. Better, I think, to expend that time ad energy working on the “So what” of life – the ways in which you will react and go forward, based upon those occurrences. Just move on…

There is an old saying that what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. I would submit that perhaps meit also makes you smarter (if you learn from it) and maybe more interesting (if you assimilate it into your knowledge base). But, in order to gain those benefits you have to get past the incident or experience and assimilate it, rather than fixating upon it.   Just move on…
So, rather than seeking closure, seek acceptance, seek forgiveness (if that is required), seek the learning that is there and store away the knowledge that is to be gained. Learn to feel good about your ability to get on with life rather than being bothered by an ambiguity that you may never be able to understand. Sometimes “only God knows why” is the best answer and the only answer. Just move on…