And yet many of us are guilty of conveying images of ourselves that are not grounded in reality. We spend ridiculous amounts of money donning the finest clothes, flaunting the baddest handbags, and flossing in the hottest whips. Sometimes we’re so broke we can’t even afford to pay our rent, but we’ll jump at the opportunity to put another vacation on our credit card. Our material possessions are life-consuming. What was meant to be pleasurable is now a necessity for happiness. In all actuality, the desire for things silences the raging need for love. Shopping becomes fulfilling because it does not have to say “I love you” back.
To some extent, we all hide. When we see things about ourselves that we don’t like, we hide. When we hurt, we hide. When we miss the mark, we hide. When we are found in a state other than what we would like to present, we hide. When life is not what we expect it to be, we withdraw our true essence and promote other aspects simply to protect ourselves. We have sunken so deep within ourselves that we can’t even find who we really are. We didn’t mean to. We long to be understood, to be loved, to be appreciated, to be accepted, and we want, more than anything, for someone to know the real us. In schools, churches, and beauty shops across this world, there are women just like us, those still hiding behind the lipstick.
Our hiding allows others to hide, and can perpetuate our pain. A woman was molested as a child. Because of fear and the advice of her mother, she does not say anything. Now as a mature adult with children, she realizes her daughter is being molested. Rather than confronting it, she decides to move on and pretend she didn’t see it, didn’t hear it, and, if the truth were told, really did not want to have anything to do with it. The cycle continues. We must begin to get victory in the areas of our lives that could potentially have an effect on the generations to come. We teach our daughters not to trust a man, rather than saying, “I trusted a man once and I was hurt.” We expect them to do what we didn’t, rather than giving them what we did not always receive—the truth. We sow ideals in the heart of young girls based on our mistakes and what we wish we could have done instead of giving them sound information. We need to stop hiding behind poor choices, money, sex, depression and hurt and live free.
My Lipstick Confession: For as long as I could remember, I prided myself for being a strong, self-assured person. I was bossy at a young age. They called me a teacher’s pet, a daddy’s girl and a goody two-shoes in my immediate circle. Through my efforts in life, school and otherwise, I managed to garner some internal satisfaction from this persona I was haphazardly creating. After time progressed and my personal treasure chest was filled with perfect test scores, awards and other accolades, I bought into the hype. I became this monster, eager for more and willing to go extreme measures to satisfy the thirst for accomplishments. My lipstick was success. I was literally hiding behind this array of things that I was capable of doing. Truthfully, I was lacking. I longed for someone to love the real me buried in a plethora of insecurities. I presented this image that I was on top of everything when, in fact, I felt very beneath it all.
It is time to come out of hiding and be just who we were created to be. As women, we are all on this journey together. Let’s live, love and laugh our way to freedom. To start the process, do something bold this week. Tell someone a fact about you that he or she didn’t know, whether it is the super cute jacket that you bought from the thrift store, the fact that you were adopted, or that you really like ice tea— share a part of the real you. Reveal the person we all have wanted to meet.
Myesha Chaney is a recording artist, motivational speaker, mother, wife and the first lady of Antioch Church of Long Beach, California. Her new album, Take Him to The World, will be released July 3.