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thursday, april 12, 2001
if: my children's eyes

if you knew someone was watching your every move, how would you react? to what lengths would you go to prevent your secrets from being exposed?

i have few, if any, "real" secrets. there are things i discuss with very few and even less things that i don't discuss at all, but beyond that i am a very open person. i am who i am and don't hide it from any body. this doesn't always make me popular or well liked, but i am not sure i really care too much about that. if i did i would play the game.

i am a believer in being true to the inner you. to living without "masks". i do not mean we are exactly the same in every situation` nor am i confusing masks with roles. what i mean is that we are all someone inside, someone who changes according to the situation. that inner person is not static, but that inner person is always there and we choose when and to whom to reveal it. most people hide behind fake masks. in any given situation they become someone that they are not. reasons differ: to please a boyfriend or girlfriend, to get the promotion, etc. some people are so layered in masks that they do not know who their inner person is. i have seen people so adept at masks that they become what the people around them want them to be without blinking an eye. if there is more than one person in the room, they become what the most important person in their lives wants them to be, usually causing puzzlement in their other friends.

i refuse to live that way.

who i am is not always acceptable, not always nice, and doesn't result in the same behavior no matter the situation. i am flexible, i adjust, i think, i grow, i change. those changes are not masks. it is very hard to get to that inner me, to make sure i am doing and being what i am rather than what others want. but i would rather work at being who i am than to give in and hide away behind the masks society tries to impose.

being watched so intently can be disconcerting. there is no doubt in my mind i would get very nervous if i was aware of such scrutiny. and yet, in a way, i am watched in this manner. i am a mother. kids watch their parents. they may not always choose to adhere to the principles and behaviors they see in us, but they do watch. discrepancies are noted between behavior and words. attitudes are picked up, initially just as a matter of "wanting to be like mommy", but later are examined and decided upon based on our behavior.

i do not really "react" to being under their microscopes. i have no choice but to carry on and hope that they learn the positive values that i hold. all i can do is continue to be who i am. i am their first role model. others may come along as they get older, but i am the most consistent role model in their lives. teachers change, youth pastors move on to other churches. but me, i am always there. how do i react? with love.

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