Real quick – before tonight’s post — Last week, I mentioned that I would be personally mentoring two special people in my recent business venture selling a phenomenal whitening toothpaste! Well! — I received so many people who wanted to join, that I have decided to open up three more mentoring positions this week! I have seen this business change so many lives, and provide serious income (it’s how I fund this blog!) so it is an honor to provide this wonderful opportunity to others!
Leave me a comment, or shoot me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you’d like more information!
OK ONTO THE POST!
I’ll tell you what…Halloween in NYC is next level.
And Halloween in Greenwich Village is absolutely insane.
You see ALL THINGS.
I’m not kidding. Take what you’re envisioning right now and multiply it by 100.
I mean, there are dogs that have better costumes than me.
But lucky for us, we actually get to celebrate this spooky holiday twice this year — this past weekend, with the costume parties and spooky get-togethers. And then again on Wednesday for the actual trick-or-treat fest!
And as any friend-obsessed Millennial, I had a number of Halloween parties to attend this weekend.
Now, let me preface by saying that I am a serial procrastinator.
I have been all my life. Every school project or book report was put off until the night before, and completed in a scramble that would bleed into the wee hours of the morning. How I graduated with a 4.1 is beyond me.
But in true Caralyn form, Saturday morning rolled around and I still didn’t have a costume.
So I hit the streets and, as with everything else in this city, Halloween costume stores are on steroids. You’re not escaping a Party City without waiting in a line at least 45 minutes long. I learned that the hard way my first Halloween in NYC. Never did that again. So I’ve learned to skirt the system.
And so this Halloween, I knew the perfect little bizarre that had an exquisite masquerade section. So I got this gorgeous jewel incrusted mask that would have made Serena Vanderwoodsen proud.
Fast forward to the parties, and it was definitely a hit. People wanted to try it on and take a selfie with it.
It was quite the statement.
But, as with most things in life, it really made me do some deep introspection.
During my eating disorder, masks were not a foreign concept to me. In fact, I spent that entire season of life wearing the mask of “I’m okay.” Wearing the mask of a smile. And it nearly killed me.
But I would bottle up all my fears and insecurities, and wounds and vulnerabilities and hide them away, presenting to the world this picture perfect image of a girl with it all together.
And as my anorexia worsened, and my body became a walking billboard of the disorder brewing inside, people were able to see through that mask, and see the truth of a broken, hurting girl who needed help.
But one of the most liberating things in my recovery, has been taking off that mask.
I’ve learned to let the real me. out. I’ve taken off the mask of “I’m Okay,” and let people in to the mess. And here’s what I’ve learned:
It is good to be truly seen.
We all have this intense desire to be deeply loved and deeply accepted for exactly who we are: brokenness and all.
I think we wear these masks because we believe that if people saw the messy parts, the broken parts, the works-in-progress they wouldn’t love us. And then what?
But it turns out that those parts of us are exactly what make us the most lovable.
Hiding who you are and hiding your struggles and fears — it’s exhausting. It not only is emotionally draining, but it sends a subconscious message to your brain that there is something deeply flawed about you.
Recovery has taught me that we all have areas in life that we’re working on. And when we are honest about those things, and let people into our journey, not only does it strengthen a personal relationship and trust, but it encourages vulnerability in others as well.
Recovery has taught me that I don’t need to hide behind “I’m Okay” – not with others, and especially not with God.
Because the fact is, He sees it all, and loves me anyway.
He saw me standing there shivering at 78 pounds with grey skin, lifeless eyes, and a head full of peach fuzz after all my hair fell out, and He loved me anyway.
He’s not expecting perfection. But what He is expecting, is a heart that is willing to surrender. He’s looking for a heart that is willing to meet Him halfway. Willing to follow after Him, and seek His will, and try my best.
Sure, wearing that sparkly mask was fun for the night. It provided great photo ops, and gave me a killer outfit, but I’m done wearing masks. And Day One of my recovery, I vowed never to wear one again.
Because the truth of the matter is that I am worth being seen and known, just as I am.
I am worth letting people in to my brokenness, because I am worthy of love and support.
Jesus says so.
No more masks for this girl.
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