You leave home and lock the door. You park your car and lock the door before walking off. You put a lock on your locker and on your safe. We do all we can to protect our possessions. A lock serves many purposes and the owner of the key can enter as often as they please. In general, it’s best to at least share the key with at least one other person in case a need arises, and you are not around. You wouldn’t just give this key to anyone though. Not everyone can be trusted to love your possessions like you do. We get to choose who we share the key with or if we share it at all.
What about the lock we place on ourselves? Different things cause us to want to hide behind some mask we lock onto ourselves. It can all look different but usually it all goes back to one thing….shame. Shame can back us into a corner and makes us believe that we are not good enough. It tells me that I am a terrible person that will never get it right so I might as well hide. I need to act like I’m something better. I can’t let others know how I truly feel. I put on a “protective” armor and lock it in place. On workdays, I put on my scrubs and sometimes I choose to lock them in place. Only “Nurse Melissa” will be present today. Some days I choose to lock in behind full make- up and very fixed hair. Only “Put-together Melissa” is showing up that day. There is many days that I lock myself in behind the mask of “everything gets on my nerves” and the “Cynical Melissa” shows up.
I am the only one with the key. All the responsibility of hiding my true feelings is on me. I do not let anyone come close to this key. I can’t, I just can’t.
“You can hold your world inside
You can scream out loud
Or you can fight these enemies
And kid fears tonight if you want to
You can drive your car out to L.A
You can lose yourself just to make your way
You can change your mind
Or change your name if you want to
But you’re under lock and key
All by yourself
And sometimes you just need somebody else
I cannot read your complex mind
I can’t understand
All the reasons why
But if you let me in, I can try if you want me to……..”
I can continue to lock my mask in place if I want to. I can suffer the effects all by myself also. My relationships start to break apart, I grow tired and weary, I grow quiet & distant, I overeat to keep the emotions at bay, and the list goes on and on. I can also choose to let a safe person have the key and enter into my life. I allow them to truly love me by letting them in to see the real me. It creates a space to breathe and let the mask go. It can be scary to hand the key over but it is so worth it in the end.
What mask do you typically put on when shame tells you to hide? Is there anyone you would give a key to? Jesus is always there and He is always safe. He puts people in our lives that can be safe places to fall, and we desperately need that. Those special ones are gifts from God that we can finally be ourselves with. When we take that massive step of faith, it opens us up to experience freedom, healing, love, and grace.
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