There is only one you. God can’t bless who you pretend to be. However, many of us have learned to wear a number of hats as we fill a number of roles in life. And the right ‘hat’ allows us to fit in to a social group or a gang of friends.
Right from the start when we are born we are unashamedly real and are just who we are. We are not self-conscious and really don’t care what others think about us. We don’t wear ‘hats’ pretending to be someone we are not.
But, as we grow older and start school we have officially become self-conscious. We start to wonder what other people think about us. That’s where we start wearing different ‘hats’. It begins as an effort to either conform to or reject the social norms and expectations of those around us. We dress a certain way; we act a certain way; we like this but not that … all determined by social norms and the expectations of others. In the midst of this, we forget who we really are as we become who others want us or need us to be. And, as a result the real you often gets lost and even buried because of the ‘hats.’
The “hats” we wear help us maintain dignity in social settings and relational environments. But the “hats” can also separate us from our unique and authentic self.
One reason so many people struggle to know who they are meant to be is that they have spent all their life being who they are supposed to be. All their life they have tried to measure up to the expectations of those around them. Most of us have a whole bunch of hats that we have worn at one time or another in an attempt to fit in, follow protocol, and meet expectations. And, as a result we end up being someone we are not!
When our ‘hats’ start to dictate the choices we make, the freedom we have, the joy we feel, and the expressions we give, that’s when the ‘hats’ have to come off.
When a ‘hat’ gets in the way of us connecting and doing life in community, it has to come off.
When a ‘hat’ causes us to confuse who others say we have to be with who we are meant to be, it has to come off.
When a ‘hat’ hinders us from putting our whole heart into serving God, it has to come off.
When a ‘hat’ causes us to withdraw into observation versus a life of participation, it has to come off.
When a ‘hat’ causes us to close up or shut down emotionally, it has to come off.
When a ‘hat’ keeps us from having fun and enjoying life, it has to come off.
When a ‘hat’ makes us self-conscious and afraid of what people are saying and thinking about us, it has to come off.
When a ‘hat’ stops us from expressing our love for God, family, and friends, it has to come off.
When a ‘hat’ becomes our cover-up for past pain that God wants to heal, it has to come off.
When a ‘hat’ makes us shrink back from opportunities, it has to come off.
When a ‘hat’ makes us unapproachable, it has to come off.
When a ‘hat’ turns us into a poser or a pretender, it has to come off.
When a ‘hat’ causes pride and disconnects us from the people God connected us with, it has to come off.
We don’t take our ‘hat’ off because it makes us feel safe and secure. It allows us to fit in even when we really don’t care to fit in. But, if the ‘hat’ you are wearing and that defines you is not the real you then relationships remain shallow, intimacy is impossible, freedom from fear is never experienced, God’s purpose is not fulfilled, your potential is never discovered, and your best life is never lived.
Time to take the ‘hat’ off. There is only one you!