What kind of mask are you wearing today?

I watched “A Whisker Away,” a Netflix anime film.
While watching it, I’ve gained some insights about life and somehow resonated with the characters in the film.

A particular part of the story that caught my attention was people wearing cat masks and for some reason replaced them with their human faces because they gave up on their “human life.”

Part of our new normal now is wearing face masks whenever we go outside our homes. It gives us a sense of protection. But what’s sad about wearing masks is that we can’t see people’s facial expressions and emotions we used to see before the pandemic. It also reminds us that the pandemic is far from over and we need to wear it to protect us from the deadly virus. How sad is that?

For most of us, I believe, we also wear masks. Aside from the visible face masks we always wear nowadays, we also put on invisible masks.

We put on a happy face even if we’re hurting inside. For others, they put on a brave face even if they’re really afraid. We can also put on an angry face but deep inside we really care. And maybe for others, they put on a “masungit” face to push people away because they don’t want to get hurt again.

What kind of mask are you wearing today?

As for me, I usually put on an “I’m okay” mask even if I’m not okay. The reason behind it is that I don’t want to be a burden to anyone. I’m not the kind of person who openly shares my troubles and struggles with anyone. I have this strong independent woman vibe. I don’t want to appear weak or helpless because I want to be the one helping others. It’s part of my personality but overdoing it is not healthy for me. I came to realize that as God teaches me through His words, with the experiences I had, and through the people around me. I’m still learning.

Somehow, I get why people wear their invisible masks. In the same way, a visible mask gives a sense of protection, the invisible mask does the same. We think it protects us from being hurt or from being judged by other people. Somehow, it also makes us think that we are protected from facing reality but the real reason is we want to escape reality because we’re afraid to face it.

I know it’s hard to show our bare face - what we really look like or how we really feel. There are a lot of reasons why but usually it’s because we’re afraid that people won’t accept us or understand us for who we really are. But you know what, there’s Someone who accepts and understands you for who you really are. He even loves you with all that He is. Because you are His child. You are precious in His sight. He is God. He is our good good Father.

We can put off our invisible masks in front of Him. We can show Him our bare face. We can show Him how we really feel.

How’s that? We don’t need to pretend in front of Him. We can come as we are - weak, hurt, afraid, messed up, and He would still accept us. His love is beyond what words can describe. His love is more than enough to fill our hearts. His grace overflows. You are accepted. You are loved. You don’t need to put on something or do something for God to love you. He is love himself. He loves you even without anything you think you need to be loved.

I encourage you to show what you really feel to the people closest to you - someone you trust. They also want to know how you are really doing. They don’t read minds, you need to tell them for them to be with you and help you. If you already have people like these in your life, take the time to thank them for being there with you especially in your difficult moments in life.

If it’s too hard for you to open up with others, run to God. All the feelings you've been suppressing inside, cry it all out to God. He listens and He will embrace you as you are.

It’s okay not to be okay.

Draw near to God. In Him, you can find a safe place.