Who is Behind the Mask? - Renata Smith

Hanging Up My Mask
– Renata Nicole

I was upset…..

I was upset that I poured so much into the relationship only to yield a negative return on my investment.

I felt as though I had given all of me to yet another person only to come up empty. I was coming to terms with the fact that I had over invested only to find myself once again feeling unappreciated and unloved.

It didn’t matter how much I gave, it was never enough.

I thought ‘why don’t they appreciate me? Here I am bending over backwards to show them just how much I care and they couldn’t care less about me’.

But the more I thought about it and became really honest with myself, the more I came across my truth. My truth is that I never gave them a chance to appreciate me. I never gave them a chance, because the me they saw was an inauthentic representation of myself. I was afraid they wouldn’t like me so I tried to become who I thought they would like.

And there was the problem –

How could I ask another human being to love me when I didn’t love myself?

I had become so busy trying to be the person that I thought they wanted me to be that I reached a point where I lost sight of who I really was. I lost Renata. I spent so much time denying my feelings that I didn’t even know what I truly thought, felt, liked, wanted or cared for.

The truth is I knew all along that they didn’t really care about me. But I think somewhere a long the line I thought that maybe one day they would. I mean I had given so much and I just wanted some type of return. So I suppressed my true feelings and emotions and I acted how I thought they wanted me to in an effort to get them to finally love me. I pretended not to notice that their actions did not match their words and I became numb to their mistreatment of me.

But there was a huge fallacy in my tactic. How could someone love me when I never even gave them a chance to know who I really was? Of course they rejected me. They rejected me because I had rejected me. I auditioned for a role in their life and I immediately went into character.

I sent out a false representative of who I was and I was being inauthentic. I mean I was good at it too. I played a role so long I didn’t even recognize myself. I had become like Kirk Lazarus the character Robert Downey Jr. played in the movie Tropic Thunder.

I believe that anytime you are uncomfortable with who you are you, you inadvertently give off an air of inauthenticity that causes others to become uncomfortable with you. People don’t like interacting with phonies, they are looking for the real McCoy.

Don’t get so into pretending to be someone who you are not that you find yourself like I did – not even knowing who you are and finding the real you to be unrecognizable.

When you take the mask off and stop playing a character you are left with yourself.

The real you, the you who you were always intended to be can only come forth when you accept you for who you are, flaws and all.

Granted not everyone is going to love you, but before you can expect someone else to love you, you really have to take the time out to find a way to love yourself.

I found the more I started loving myself the less concern I had when people didn’t love me. I didn’t care that they didn’t want to be in relationship with me. I didn’t care because I am no longer attracted to people who don’t treat me with love, care and respect.

It has taken some serious work but I am now comfortable with myself to a high enough degree that when others choose not to engage with me I don’t allow it to move me or shake me. This is because I recognize that their lack of desire for a relationship with me doesn’t negate my worth.

Their assessment of me didn’t matter because I no longer gave them the power to define me. They are no longer my source of identity.

It isn’t that I don’t care what other people think. It is that I have begun the work of no longer becoming a chameleon in an effort to elicit a positive response from another human being.

You see I do care about the thoughts of others. For me to say I don’t care what others think would not be a true statement. A more accurate assertion is that I refuse to entertain the notion that their thoughts regarding my worth have the ability to add or subtract from my worth.

With my renewed mindset I have found that when others determine that they do not want to be in my life that it doesn’t cause me to lose sleep any more. I used to sit in agony as to why I meant nothing to someone who meant the world to me. Now that I have a healthier perspective I don’t expend energy on people who have gone out of their way to show me they don’t care about me.

I don’t want to sit there waiting for someone to finally decide that maybe I might be worth their time. I now nourish my healthy relationships and starve my unhealthy ones. As I started loving myself I no longer felt compelled to interact with people who I know don’t love me or who treat me as invaluable. I don’t care to be around people who set out to try to make me feel bad about myself. Those are the type of people who if I allow them to would be more than happy to make me feel like I am insufficient.

The love I was trying to give to others I started making a concerted effort to give to myself. I started telling people how I genuinely felt. I stopped doing what I didn’t want to do and started doing what I wanted to. The end result of my new pattern of behavior was that the people who were only there for what I was giving them left and the people who love me just as I am multiplied in numbers. And the thing about the people who left is that it didn’t send me into overwhelming emotional pain like it had in the past. This is because I was no longer looking for love outside of myself.

Now I have relationships with people who love me for who I am. I don’t have to take the mask off any more because I never put it on in the first place. I love me for who I am the way I am.

And as for those people who don’t love me… I no longer feel compelled to keep them as characters in my life story.They are extras in the story of my life. So while they do play a part, I have reached a point where I am no longer consciously give the extras in my life super star status.

I remember feeling empty when people who didn’t truly care about me decided to walk out of my life. Now when people who don’t care about me leave I hardly even notice. I am too busy loving me and the people who actually love me back to expend energy on people who see me as invaluable.

So if you are wearing masks like I was, I strongly encourage you to stop. Love yourself just the way you are flaws and all. Love the people who love you back. Release the people who bring you down.

“Don’t you dare, for one more second, surround yourself with people who are not aware of the greatness that you are.” Jo Blackwell-Preston

Renata Nicole

© Renata Pittman and RenataNicole, 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Renata Pittman and RenataNicole with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

2 thoughts on “Unmasking

  1. Stephanie says:

    Great affirmation to how we should love ourselves. This journey for me has been a long hard one. I’m still struggling everyday to love me and walk away from others who don’t deserve the “super star” status. That is the great part thing about life is you have everyday that God has given you to do exactly these things.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. RenataNicole says:

    Stephanie the good thing is you are on the journey. I think we all are working to love ourselves and that some of us are just further along in our love walk. The good thing is every day we all get to try to get a little further in our journey!


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