Have you gone crazy putting so much of yourself online?
Yes and no, depending on who you ask.
If I have gleaned anything from all the time I have spent couch surfing in therapy over the years, it is this: without transparency it is next to impossible to have the kind of loving, nurturing relationships we need in order to be healthy and whole individuals.
When we are able to take off our masks and reveal what is underneath, we create an opportunity to connect to one another on a deeper level. We need intimate connections; it is part of our lifeline. It is the oxygen our lifeblood needs so our hearts can be hearts of flesh instead of lifeless hearts of stone. When we start getting real and getting honest about ourselves, freedom unfolds. If we close ourselves off, we shut out the very things that make us who we really are. Our masks put us at risk to developing a hardening of the heart and to being rendered unable to just be.
I have personally experienced a spiritual death as a direct result of keeping the mask on and carrying nasty baggage around. I have experienced the kind of wasting away that happens when we are cut off from nutritive relationships. It rendered my heart completely lifeless.
I have mentioned before that there is a father of lies whose aim is to confuse our identities so we become as shut off from God as possible. The harder our hearts get, the harder it is to hear the voice of our real Father.
‘Ego eimi’ is Greek for ‘I AM’ or ‘I Exist’, which is the way God refers to Himself when speaking to Moses in Exodus 3. Ego is related to identity and self-importance and this was something I could not ignore. Digging a little deeper into Latin roots and Greek roots, even as a layperson in that arena, opened up an entirely new perspective for me.
Transparency allows us to identify one another more accurately and our defenses no longer have to be the driving force of our lives. Denial is a particularly insidious defense mechanism because it appeals to the ego. Denial is a mask we wear to hide behind and our ego can get the better of us when we wear that mask for very long.
Our egos can become full of self-importance on either end of the spectrum; we can have just as much pride in our worthlessness as we do our worth.
Being able to identify one another more accurately allows us to create healthy boundaries for ourselves and others. Plus, it gives us the security of knowing who we are, who we belong to, and where we fit.
Transparency keeps us in our place, more or less.
My husband and I have experienced the process of stripping our souls naked and getting real. It opened a connection with each other we would not have had otherwise. It is an incredibly unifying experience to be transparent. We both needed to get our egos out of the way in order to truly connect the way we needed to as husband and wife. We got to know each other just as God wants us to know Him.
I am only sorry I wasted so much of my life trying on masks and costumes that did not fit or belong to me. It affected way too much of who I was, what I said, and what I did.
Adam’s response in Genesis 3:10 was one of shame:
He answered, “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.”
Fear, shame, and doubt are truly at the root of so many of our problems. Ultimately, we are doing ourselves a huge disservice by continuing to put on the shrouds (denials) we use to hide ourselves from each other and from God.
One of the most compassionate and beautiful qualities of Jesus is that He is does not condemn or reject us when we go to Him just as we are. He wants us to bring Him our masks and costumes and He wants to have access to what is underneath. He wants us close enough to Him so He can give us the care we need to be cleansed from the fear, shame, and doubt that have gotten us all into so many pickles.
If I had opened myself up to all of this a long time ago, I would not have had to couch surf through so much therapy! I have gotten myself into pickles seasoned with a vast variety of flavors that I might have otherwise avoided. There’s nothing that can churn the stomach more than crunching on a fistful of bitter, old pickles.
This blog is my soul getting naked, without shame, and opening myself up to connect with those who are in need of connection. I am giving you the option to accept me or reject me.
I guess if that makes me crazy, I am okay with that. I know Who I belong to and Who it is I am crazy for.
I praise You and I thank You for doing the work that needed to be done for me to be stripped of my grave clothes. I praise You and I thank You for the garment of praise! May Your Spirit touch the lives and hearts of those who are shrouded in shame, fear, and doubt. May Your Spirit lead families everywhere to freedom and connection in You and each other.
Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another.
This post appears in the book: Shattered in Him © 2016 JD Mays