ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

The Me Behind the Masks

Updated on April 12, 2017
lambservant profile image

Poetry is one of Lori's favorite ways to share memories, to express feelings, and share what inspires her, so others might be inspired.

Bat Nana.
Bat Nana. | Source

Why we wear masks

Almost everyone wears a mask, at least once in awhile. There are many reasons we wear masks - usually because we don't want people to see our pain and our struggles. We might wear a mask because we are not comfortable being ourselves. Or, we don't want to drag people down when they ask "How are you?" We may just be a private person, and sometimes we need to keep things private. We may think people will not understand what we are going through (often times that's true, sometimes it's not). Perhaps there is a stigma to our issue and we'll be embarrassed or humiliated if we expose ourselves. Maybe if we don't wear a mask we will have to give up denial - a huge defense mechanism - and the fear, pain and/or shame will smack us over the head with a two-by-four of reality, and we fear we just may cry and never stop; we fear we'll fracture into a million little pieces; we may feel like we'll die from the power of it, or worst of all, even want to die.

I wear masks a lot when I'm hurting. I know many of you do too. I have told a few trusted friends, my therapist, and even God (who already knows), and now you, that I could win an Oscar for my masked performances, for all the reasons above at one time or another (and I know you could too, right?). I can't hide from God and don't want to. I don't have to wear a mask with Him. I am learning to be real with people in certain situations if it might be appropriate and if I think they can be trusted, or more so, if my experience can help someone else. I've had many such occasions. I'm all for not wasting your pain.

Me with my grandsons at church Christmas party.
Me with my grandsons at church Christmas party. | Source

The story behind the poem

I've done a fair amount of being real on Hubpages, especially lately. It's easier to do it with you all because although I have come to know and love many of you to pieces, it's still easier when you don't have to look people in the eye. And many of you have too, and I have been helped and inspired by your experiences, encouragement, and honesty. I can't even express how much. You all have helped me grow. A few years ago Faith Reaper here on Hubpages wrote a poem on masks that moved me deeply. I'd forgotten about having saved it on my computer. See, we all know about masks.

I wrote this poem last year in one of the darkest, stormiest valleys of my life. I was able to find a very few trusted people to talk to, but never fully taking off the mask. It was a horrible lonely time for me. I found myself getting some of my pain out when I branched out into poetry and fiction.

And you know, I think it's okay to wear a mask in certain situations. There are a lot of unsafe people out there and we have to be discerning. But I marvel at how God sent just the right people into my path at my most desperate hours last year. I was able to take off the mask in those few instances.

This is deep so I will lighten this up a bit. First of all, I am not a selfie person. If I take a selfie, it is with someone almost always, so technically they're not selfies. I was going to go on an image site and find all my photos for this piece. But I thought, why not step out of your comfort zone, Lori (honestly), and use mostly photos of me playing a role in one of my many masks (there are a few that came from another source). Actually, I'm having a good time in most of them. I am known as a bit of a clown. Comic relief is good sometimes. I might be really hurting and clowning around can either be a mask, or it can bring me out of my funk. I love doing stand up comedy but I don't get many opportunities. I have a few friends who when I'm with them, we nearly get kicked out or coffee shops, stores, and restaurants. No arrests as of yet.

And finally, on to the poem.

I'm an Oscar caliber performer.
I'm an Oscar caliber performer. | Source

The Me Behind the Masks

I'm an Oscar caliber performer,

playing the roles of

the only parts of me

I've been willing to let anyone see.

I have many characters,

each with their own mask.

Comedian - Taking a bow with my comedy team.
Comedian - Taking a bow with my comedy team. | Source

I'm a versatile chameleon,

from writer to comedian,

conservative to Bohemian.

I can play wise and witty,

vibrant and flitty,

verbose or pithy.

Bold and brash. Embarrassed our friend taking the photo.
Bold and brash. Embarrassed our friend taking the photo. | Source

You'll see me bold and brash,

sometimes calm, sometimes rash,

always performed with great panache.

You'll see my spirit of devotion

deep faith in motion;

with prayers softly spoken.

Sorrows unspoken.
Sorrows unspoken. | Source

All these are a part of me,

the only parts of me

I've let anyone see.

Sometimes a mask will slip,

offering a glimmer of the me

I've not wanted anyone to see -

the me that is heartbroken

from sorrows unspoken,

that rage like an ocean.

Hiding behind the laughter.
Hiding behind the laughter. | Source

You see I'm a fractured actor,

hiding behind laughter,

with a confidence I cannot master.

But I will never regret,

the adversities I've met,

nor the tears that I've wept;

for in my travail,

God's mercy unveiled,

by which I've prevailed.

Now bravely I've passed,

through a threshold of glass,

allowing to the world to see

the me behind the masks.

© 2016 Lori Colbo. All rights reserved.

© 2017 Lori Colbo


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)