"One of the most common reasons we wear masks is what I think of as Imposter Syndrome."
These words were part of a sermon shared by Susan Sparks at the historic Madison Avenue Baptist Church in New York City. She went on to describe the Imposter Syndrome as "the fear that the world is going to find us out. I’ve heard it described as feeling like a fake, like you don’t really belong, or like you aren’t really successful, but are just posing as such."
I have to say that one of the passports to my resurrection was summoning the courage to come out of hiding. To stop being the imposter.
Looking back, there were three masks I had to take off -- in order to find the real Blaine Bartel. I wonder if you may be wearing one of these masks right now... and perhaps not even be aware of it?
FEAR OF CONSEQUENCE
I wore this mask for twenty-five years. If I told anyone about my porn and sexual addiction horrors, everything I had worked for would be taken away... my marriage, my career, my reputation... on and on.
Here's what I had to get past: Did I want to continue to live in shame and fear the rest of my life... or did I want to rediscover a life actually worth living? (even if is costs me something to come out from hiding)
Stand up. Come out. Face your demons.
Tell someone you trust and can guide you into healing and resurrection. And the truth is... if you don't come out of your hiding, eventually someone will take off your mask for everyone to see. That moment is not worth waiting for.
As counselors dug into my life and backstory during my 30 day addiction recovery program in Phoenix, one of them said these words that I have never forgotten, "Blaine, as long as you keep living an incongruent faith, you will never live an truly authentic life." That stuck.
You see, there were a host of things about the faith I had been raised in, that I really didn't believe. But I felt like I had to appear to embrace these spiritual notions in order to stay in the good graces of the religious tribe I was running with. Challenging any of these sacred cows would result in ostracization. I know... because I had seen it happen to others.
So it was at that moment that I pushed all my cards to the middle of the table. I was out. I decided to be true to Christ. True to myself... and true to others.
Wine wasn't grape juice.
My "movement" (or Blaine Bartel) didn't have corner on truth.
Jesus wasn't a Republican. (or a Democrat)
There is so much more. And it goes so much deeper. (perhaps in book someday.)
But guess what? When my faith, my ethics and my behavior all began to come into harmony, I began to live without fear for the first time in my life.
My entire life perspective changed. The only way I can describe it is consummate freedom.
You don't like me? That's cool... I like you.
You don't believe that? Beautiful... share the faith you've discovered.
You don't agree with my politics? No worries... I love people of all political persuasions.
Dare to be you. The real you. And if you're not sure who that really is, do what I did. Go to Jesus. Ask him the difficult questions you've never had the courage to ask. And watch him lead you. To the right people. The right conversations. And the real you.
THE VICTIM MASK
We hide behind our pain.
"My father abused me."
"I was abandoned as a child."
"My family was poor and didn't have the money to send my to college."
We all have our reasons for failure and retreat. And I would never minimize the deep wounds you may be experiencing right now in your soul.
I get it. I was molested when I was 14 years old. I experienced other childhood trauma that haunted me for years. Our pain is real.
But so is the power of forgiveness.
And the power of resurrection.
Take the victim card of our your deck. Throw down the King or the Queen. Because that's who you are. You don't have to be a culmination of your yesterdays. Call out your past... and make it a launching pad for a newly created future. You deserve better.
Your calling is often found in your conquering. Embrace it.
Final note: My brand new book is about to go to print. In next week's email series, I will be sharing the FIVE MOST POWERFUL PARAGRAPHS in the book. In doing so, I will also answer FIVE OF THE MOST CONSEQUENTIAL QUESTIONS in our lives. I think you will enjoy!
If there is anything I can pray with you about... or you have a questions, feel free to hit REPLY on this email and I am happy to respond.
HOW CAN I HELP YOU?
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