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Mask


She woke up today with a new okayness
Mind you, she’s not ever felt this before
It’s as if the brokenness waves she’d been treading
Delivered her finally to the wholeness shore

She was reared in an ocean of rigid expectation
Had to be perfect, had to perform
Had to be just what they wanted
Had to contort herself, had to conform

Each wave that she rode had different conditions
Each wave required she be something new
She was adept at sacrificial self-recreation
Yep, the people-pleasing game, she slew

But the sport of perfection-wave surfing 
Came at a price, deep emptiness it caused
She held on for years, not knowing her bondage
She was addicted to the laud and applause

She never gave herself grace to just be who she was
Her entire self-concept till now was built externally
She couldn’t fathom being okay without attention
She didn’t know okayness’ source was found internally

Then “bad” things happened, “disasters” to some
And she began to examine her long-held beliefs
Don’t get me wrong, she was devastated
But she KNEW somehow, she would find relief

She ventured inside and began a new journey
She’d always been afraid to go within
She expected to find nothing, emptiness
She’d never been comfortable in her own skin

Instead, slowly the answers began coming
To every question she dared to ask
Then the sobs and tears began flowing
Tears of relief, she’s dropped the mask


10-4-22





Copyright © Becky Forbes

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