Sunday, July 1, 2007

The Mask

For years I hid behind a mask called- preacher. I did everything a preacher was supposed to do, I acted like a preacher, dressed like a preacher, preached like a preacher ought to preach, thought like a preacher. Then my world exploded and I can no longer be a preacher. This is not for any punitive reason, I made the choice to step out of my mask. But now that it is gone, I have no idea who the woman underneath is supposed to be.

That is one of my biggest problems...I am hung up on the word "supposed." I am all to eager to reach for a new mask. To begin to think and act like a new type of being. For some reason I am terrified at discovering not who I am supposed to be but who I actually am. Even the thought of filling out an online profile scares me. Simple questions like "What is your favorite movie?" terrify me. That is how completely unfamiliar with self I am. I could tell you what Pastor Amy's favorite movie and past times were without effort. But those were all choices groomed by the definition of self as pastor.

Do I think I am so radically different now? No, not really. But I haven't yet discovered what aspects of me are authentic to self and which are part of my mask, part of the role in the play of life that I have been playing so well- but no longer works for me.

So what am I doing to figure out my grandiose question? I am being completely and totally selfish. I hope not in the negative sense of the word. Instead I am focusing on self. What does it mean to be me? How am I going to react to my new set of circumstances? What do I value in life? What do I value about myself? What values do I want to become a part of my self?

So in other words I am doing a lot of exploring. I am looking at the world with a new set of eyes, ones that instead of saying what am I supposed to enjoy, look for what do I actually do enjoy. I am trying to expose myself to a wide variety of circumstances, authors, artists, political views, and activities to figure out which ones resonate with the self that has long been deprived of exposure.

Who am I?

This is both an incredible opportunity at hand and a terrifying reality. Very few people get to take time to redefine who they are. Very few people make that time. Instead we live in a go with the flow world where we wake up one day and wonder how we became the person that we are. However deconstructing a world view can be terrifying. It is in many ways like the death of a friend, a spouse, or a brother. My world view has incapsulated everything about me from the way I viewed the world around me, my values, to my likes and dislikes. To bury a worldview is very similar to grieving. It has created a whirlwind of emotions inside of me from anger and anxiety to opportunity, from sadness to hope. It is at once both a thrilling adventure and a lonely journey through a darkened land.

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