When I was a little girl I marveled at how strong my mother was. It seemed like she was invincible, like she could do anything, fix anything and nothing phased her. I think the life altering moment in all of our lives is when we first see our moms cry for the first time. I don't think any human forgets that moment and I think we all kind of see that as the day we grow up and innocence slowly fades. I've met some amazing people in my 28 years and I'm so fascinated by people's stories and journeys! I marvel at people's perseverance, resilience and drive. I've met people who've beat unimaginable odds, circumstances and trials but I've also met people who've let life take them completely under.
  I was taught that no matter what's going on inside we don't let it show externally. No matter what I'm going through I'm determined to look presentable but I've often wondered is this putting on a mask? Naturally we don't go around looking like Oliver Twist when money is low or we are under extreme pressure! I've heard ignorant statements like "he/she doesn't look poor!" What does poor look like? That person could have lost their job yesterday, bills could have been piling up for months or even years. You tell me what exactly does poor look like? Oh because she's fat she can't possibly be hungry huh? Stupidest theories I've ever heard of! We genuinely are fooled by outward appearances.

  Sometimes our masks hide everything that's going on internally so well that people assume that everything is alright or that everything is "fine." I've learned that material means absolutely nothing, a person could be driving a Mercedes with empty cabinets all for the sake of keeping up appearances and for all you know they live in that Mercedes too. We live in a world where we feel such a need to impress people, we are too prideful and stubborn to say hey I'm struggling. We shame people for asking for help which has bred a generation of prideful idiots. You have on Jordan's but your lights are off, you have 400 dollar weave but you're about to be evicted. Poor to me looks like the examples I just used... Poor looks like a bunch of stuff but no peace or real joy. Poor to me looks like a life without Jesus, trying to impress a bunch of people who could care less about your well being. Poor to me looks like struggling to keep up appearances when your whole world is crashing down! It's not always some Feed The Children commercial and to be honest a good 50% or more of you are two seconds from poor. What is material if you're unhappy? What is it? 
Money can't buy happiness but it could resolve a lot of my financial struggle at the moment. The thing is we as humans, Americans or whatever are willing to lose everything just to save face and keep up appearances. As long as the external is good so are we right? Lies. I'd rather have it together internally because see if I'm together internally it shows externally! I enjoy being around people who are joyful, full of peace and contentment. I'd prefer to be around someone with no name brand shoes and happy as a lark then a person with red bottoms struggling to keep up appearances. Material things are lovely, not saying we are wrong for wanting them but they give off false appearances... What if you're struggling and do need help but are too prideful to ask? Your Chanel bag isn't going to help you nor give others the slightest hint that you need help. I'm not insinuating that you need to look like some 19th century, mid evil homeless person so don't misquote me! I'm just saying ask yourself if your struggles are self inflicted? Many of my struggles are self inflicted, others I have no control over and my faith is in Christ. I honestly have nothing of material value to sell at the moment but ask yourself if you hit rock bottom and your mask were to fall off would your pride hurt more? Or would you feel embarrassed by all that you've accumulated material wise with nothing significant to show for? Listen I'm not some financial wizard, trust my struggle is beyond REAL right now. I'm only asking you if keeping up appearances is worth it? Are you at peace, are you mentally alright? The season of lack has taught me what's really important! *Throws mask to the ground* I can't swim and only Jesus can save me. If you can't remove your mask then you haven't hit rock bottom.- Cdj 


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