Mask upon mask we layer,
forging an image to display
to the world.

But hiding behind smiles
and laughs and pleasantries,
there’s still a timid child,
scarred and wounded,
trepidly trying to run though
chained down by hesitancy.

By memories and lessons
and trauma.
By its own fragility.

Though once it’s given love,
beheld with not repugnance
but forgiveness,
approached with not repulsion
but assurance,
that child can rise above
its anxiousness,
flourishing in consolation.

Who, though, is to give this love?
It‘s not the lot around us.
We are the ones
who ought to love
our very selves.



One of the many texts I wrote late at night – or rather in the early morning hours.

When I started off writing about masks, I thought it would be headed into an entirely different direction, but my mind took the lead and I followed suit and it led me to the very topic of trauma and self-acceptance, to that self-conscious, timid little child living inside each and everyone of us.


As a matter of fact, it is insane how often I notice the way past events still affect me – whether it is moments of embarrassment, experiences of failure or even as little as seemingly negligible lines people once told me. As I have always been overly sensitive to things like these, they palpably kept nagging on my once so natural aplomb and – as I put it in the text above – “chained me down” quite literally. Even today, I often find myself not being able to move forward and develop, simply because I am scared I won’t make it.

And that is when I put on masks, feigning serenity and confidence, though not in the fake-it-‘till-you-make-it kind of way but rather in the oh-crap,-pretend,-pretend,-pretend one. 


The good news is that this can be fixed.

The bad news, that this is pretty damn hard.


Alas it is not an issue that can be solved by anybody else around you, no matter how many bountiful fellows offer a hand to help and an ear to listen.

Once you believe in the lies you told yourself, the lies about not not being worthy, about being undeserving and despicable, nothing that others say will be able change your mind.

Eventually, it is only you who can put the broken pieces back together and stitch up those old wounds to keep them from bleeding.


Because before YOU love yourself, accepting all of your flaws and edges and imperfections and all of those uniquely beautiful quirks of yours, you will not be able to take off that mask. 

You will not be able to help your inner child find its joy again.


Do not lose that. Because believe me when I say that the joy you find within yourself is so much more precious than any of the shallow pleasures the world has to offer.

xx Jeannine