“All the world’s a stage,“ William Shakespeare
Did you know God can use whatever He needs to in order to get our attention? It’s true! He loves us so much that He’ll do whatever it takes to move us out of our self-made comfort zones in order to help us reach our true potential. I call it a “setup by God.”
My “setup” came in the form of acting.
I love acting! I got involved with acting through my local church. Things were going great. I was head of the drama team…yes! Things were flowing naturally. Ideas were flying and some lives were touched along the way…YES! Later opportunities arose for me to venture outside of the church world and into the community; specifically, stage plays and TV commercials. I was excited!
You have to understand, I never had formal acting classes before prior to that time. So when those doors of opportunities were opening, I ran right on through.
“You’re a natural,” I would hear others say.
A natural, huh?
Well, little did they know that my “natural” acting skills were born when I learned how to master the art of pretending in my everyday life. I was a natural all right; a natural at wearing masks because for years I hid from myself, from God and from others because I thought I had to protect myself.
Keeping it real
Looking back, what I loved the most was that I didn’t have to face the truth of my past hurts and present struggles…or so I thought.
Taking off the mask
Full of shame and doubt about my own self-worth and my abilities, acting was my retreat of choice. I know…the irony! I was hiding out in the open. But all the same, it became my new comfort zone; a place where I could literally become anybody else that I wanted to…anybody but ME. People didn’t really know the real me because I never allowed myself an opportunity to get to know her or to love her.
Does anybody see ME?
Thank God for a trusted friend who saw through my facade. One time I asked her to help me run lines for a part because I had trouble connecting with the part emotionally. My friend’s words are still vivid today, “Tasha, why are you faking?!?”
She was right on. Pieces of my stage life mirrored my real life experiences. It was scary that my director could write a play that was dangerously close to my truth. When it was time to show up to rehearse, I had blockage and didn’t know how to break through; but, nevertheless, the show still went on. I did the best I could; but once it was over, I realized I couldn’t go back to life as normal anymore. I was exposed to myself. I had nowhere to run and nowhere to hide. I had to live with ME!
Life became uncomfortable because I didn’t know the difference between real and fantasy anymore.
I knew it was time to get help and help was readily available in the form of a life coach. She was a vessel God used in helping me learn how to properly take off the masks that were smothering me. I opened up and talked (for the first time in some instances).
There were no short cuts, I had to walk out my healing.
Through this life coach, I learned:
- To trust God (because I didn’t trust Him fully in every area)
- To accept me
- Some things are just going to be broken and that’s okay
- My hope has to be in God and not in the outcome of what I am believing Him for
- To be happy and content no matter what my circumstances are
My acting experiences taught me how to truly connect with myself so that I could properly relate and communicate with others.
God can and will use every experience in our lives to help us fulfill our ultimate calling.
Question: Do you see YOU?
So what are your comfort zones? Are there places where you are hiding and not allowing God to show you your true potential?
I challenge you to go through the “Unmasking” process, too. Seriously, when you get your first taste of freedom, you’ll wonder why you didn’t take the mask off sooner.
Until the next time, remember…An Unlimited Life is Yours for the Taking.