We are born into this world wearing a mask.

cracked

“You are created in the image and likeness of God.
God’s being is the source of your being.
You are as God created you.
God created you as whole.
God created you as complete.
God created you as good.
God created you as free.
God created you as beautiful.
God created you as love.
God created you as peace.
God created you as power.
God created you as truth.
God created you as awareness.
God created you as wisdom.
God created you as presence.
God extends outward in, through, and as you.
You are one with God.
This was the message and meaning of Jesus.

But we often do not operate within the reality of who and what we truly are. Instead, we are living through a False Self that contradicts our original and True Self. The only way the idea of being “born into sin” or “born as sinners” is real is that we are born into a notion of ourselves that falls short and misses the mark of who we truly are and were created to be.

Each of us were born into the story of the False Self. The False Self is a separated self – separated from God, separated from love and peace, separated from worth and value. The False Self is a guilty, condemned. incurably broken, flawed, deficient, inadequate, lacking, not-good-enough… self. None of this is true or real except in our own heads. This is why we are transformed by the renewing of our mind. Transformation or repentance is about having a radical change of mind, perception and awareness of who you are. It’s forgiving yourself for having created and lived a False Self, and rising up into the reality of your True Self as God created you. This is essentially what Jesus told the woman who was caught in the act of adultery and sentenced to death by stoning. After turning away her accusers, Jesus essentially said, “Why would I judge you? This isn’t even you! How could I judge something that is not real? So, enough with the False Self, okay?It’s time to get on with who you really are.”

We are born into this world wearing a mask. The False Self has become so prominent that the entire created realm, and especially humankind, has been indoctrinated and conditioned into playing the part every day. We don’t even see it, we are not conscious it – we just do it. The False Self is in the air we breathe, the water we drink, and the religions and gods we scheme up. This False Self keeps you unaware and disconnected from the very roots of your being.

You and I could probably have a one-hour conversation and we could pinpoint when your particular version of the False Self was born. It normally happens early in life. We develop our False Self in infancy, as a defense against an environment that felt unsafe or overwhelming because of a lack of reasonably attuned caregiving. We grow up and that False Self becomes a mash-up of all our fears and all the ways we externalize our worth and value. There’s a reason why codependency is epidemic – we desperately attach ourselves to anyone and anything that offers some inkling of worth, value, acceptance and love. This is one explanation for the attraction to religion. Religion offers what people think they need – a remedy, solution or salvation from the False Self. We are quite an inventive lot – we create the False Self, which is not real, and then we devise an entire system or methodology (religion) to solve a problem that isn’t real. Religion tends to be about False Self management, which means there is very little awareness or energy left over to live into the truth of who we really are.

The reality is, the most natural and human thing for you is to be love, peace, goodness, beauty, freedom, wholeness, completeness, wisdom, power, compassion, kindness, creativity… in spades. This was the meaning and message of Jesus. When you are not being these things, that is the unnatural state. In fact, that False Self is only real in your mind. Why would you seek to remedy something that is a figment of your imagination? By doing so, you are only giving it more credence. That’s why typical religious thinking doesn’t work. In all it’s effort to fight the False Self, it only empowers it further.

Compliance to religion or even seeking to imitate Jesus will never work. Both in their own way give credence to the false notion that something is wrong with the way you are. The False Self is a pathological guise, preventing and inhibiting the spontaneous gestures of your True Self.

Spiritual growth is burying the illusion of the False Self… and becoming who you really are and always have been. That’s the baptism we need – going down into the waters to shed the self we never were, and rising up into the self we are. Like Jesus, you will hear the divine affirmation in your heart, “This is my son or daughter in whom I am well pleased.”

– Jim Palmer, Notes From (over) The Edge

Latest Comments

  1. Ann Simmons says:

    Jim, this poem (author unknown) has been a favorite of mine and has helped me reach out to people who need to know the Love of God without condemnation and guilt. It’s a little long and you may have read it before.

    The Mask I Wear
    Don’t be fooled by me.
    Don’t be fooled by the face I wear
    for I wear a mask. I wear a thousand masks-
    masks that I’m afraid to take off
    and none of them are me.
    Pretending is an art that’s second nature with me
    But don’t be fooled, for God’s sake, don’t be fooled.
    I give you the impression that I’m secure
    That all is sunny and unruffled with me
    within as well as without,
    that confidence is my name
    and coolness my game,
    that the water’s calm
    and I’m in command,
    and that I need no one.
    But don’t believe me. Please!

    My surface may be smooth but my surface is my mask,
    My ever-varying and ever-concealing mask.
    Beneath lies no smugness, no complacence.
    Beneath dwells the real me in confusion, in fear, in aloneness.
    But I hide this.
    I don’t want anybody to know it.
    I panic at the thought of my weaknesses
    and fear exposing them.
    That’s why I frantically create my masks to hide behind.
    They’re nonchalant, sophisticated facades to help me pretend,
    To shield me from the glance that knows.
    But such a glance is precisely my salvation,
    my only salvation,
    and I know it.

    That is, if it’s followed by acceptance,
    and if it’s followed by love.
    It’s the only thing that can liberate me from myself
    from my own self-built prison walls.

    I dislike hiding, honestly
    I dislike the superficial game I’m playing,
    the superficial phony game.
    I’d really like to be genuine and me.
    But I need your help, your hand to hold
    Even though my masks would tell you otherwise
    That glance from you is the only thing that assures me
    of what I can’t assure myself,
    that I’m really worth something.

    But I don’t tell you this.
    I don’t dare.
    I’m afraid to.
    I’m afraid you’ll think less of me, that you’ll laugh
    and your laugh would kill me.
    I’m afraid that deep-down I’m nothing, that I’m just no good
    and you will see this and reject me.

    So I play my game, my desperate, pretending game
    With a facade of assurance without
    And a trembling child within.
    So begins the parade of masks,
    The glittering but empty parade of masks,
    and my life becomes a front.
    I idly chatter to you in suave tones of surface talk.
    I tell you everything that’s nothing
    and nothing of what’s everything,
    of what’s crying within me.
    So when I’m going through my routine
    do not be fooled by what I’m saying
    Please listen carefully and try to hear
    what I’m not saying
    Hear what I’d like to say
    but what I can not say.

    It will not be easy for you,
    long felt inadequacies make my defenses strong.
    The nearer you approach me
    the blinder I may strike back.
    Despite what books say of men, I am irrational;
    I fight against the very thing that I cry out for.
    you wonder who I am
    you shouldn’t
    for I am everyman
    and everywoman
    who wears a mask.
    Don’t be fooled by me.
    At least not by the face I wear.

    —–author unknown and it has been published in a number of books.

  2. Miriam Marques says:

    Amazing!

  3. gingershu says:

    Reblogged this on Tears of a Stone Angel and commented:
    The longer I live, the more I am convinced that life is not about becoming something; it is about unbecoming everything that is not me, so I can really be my true, Divine self.

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