Extreme Shoes

I wore heals to work today. Not only did I wear them, but I walked around in them allll day long. It wasn’t until I was headed out of the office that I thought to myself ‘these shoes are not comfortable.’ The thought shocked me because I didn’t seem to notice this all day. I began thinking about how we respond to life in a similar way: we become so accustomed to the pain or the lack of transparency or the shattered dreams or the half fulfilled promises that it becomes somewhat normal to us.

I think many become accustomed to wearing the mask. The ongoing, intentional, dishonest mask. The mask of uncertainty. Of falsehood. Of a lesser than the best me. Of the person our mother, brother, father, mentor want(ed) us to be versus who we are. I thought of my shoes. I thought of my friends. I thought of some mistakes I have made and vowed to never make again and an oldie but goodie by Paul Laurence Dunbar couldn’t be more fitting.

  We wear the mask that grins and lies,
It hides our cheeks and shades our eyes,
This debt we pay to human guile;
With torn and bleeding hearts we smile,
And mouth with myriad subtleties.

    Why should the world be over-wise,
In counting all our tears and sighs?
Nay, let them only see us, while
We wear the mask.

    We smile, but, O great Christ, our cries
To thee from tortured souls arise.
We sing, but oh the clay is vile
Beneath our feet, and long the mile;
But let the world dream otherwise,
We wear the mask!