In this fantastic book written by Briar Whitehead (Craving for Love, p. 75) , I came across a powerful poem on the mask of addiction:
I keep my mask with me everywhere I go
In case I need to wear it, so ME doesn’t show.
I’m so afraid to show you ME, afraid of what you’ll do
You might laugh at ME, or say mean things
Or I might lose you.
I’d like to take my mask off, to let you look at ME
I want you to try to understand
And please love what you see.
So if you’ll be patient and close your eyes
I’ll pull it off really slow
Please understand how much it hurts
To let the real ME show.
Now my mask is taken off. I feel naked! Bare! So cold!
If you can still love all you see,
You’re my friend, as good as gold.
I want to save my mask and hold it in my hand
I need to keep it handy if someone doesn’t understand
Please protect ME, my new friend, thank you for loving ME true,
But please let me keep my mask with me, until I love ME too.
I cried as I read this, knowing full well how hard it is to be open with other with vulnerabilities and pain. If you can understand this too, then you can understand how painful wounded people are.
I stood a beggar of God before His royal throne
And begged Him for a priceless gift, which I could call my own.
I took the gift from out His hand, but as I would depart
I cried, “But Lord, this is a thorn and it has pierced my heart.
This is a strange, a hurtful gift that you have given me.
He said, “My child, I give good gifts and give my best to thee.”
I took it home and though at first the cruel thorn hurt sore;
As long years passed I learned at last to love it more and more.
I learned He never gives a thorn without this added Grace.
He takes the thorn to pin aside the veil which hides His face.
–by Martha Snell Nicholson.
This anonymous poem comes from the book ‘Victory Over the Darkness’ by Neil T. Anderson. I especially love the lines “Hold my hand and hug me; listen to all my ramblings … the road to healing seems like a long and lonely one”: