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Questions From Teens Tag

Dear Paul,

On your retreat, I realized that I wear masks all of the time. It is so bad that I am not even sure who I am any more. What advice can you give me to help me remove my masks?


Dear Friend,

Thanks for writing. I want to let you know that I have asked some of the wisest people I know, including quite a few teenagers who serve on the REAP Team and who have attended our retreats, for practical advice on how to remove masks. Here are some excellent tips –

ACKNOWLEDGE THAT YOU WEAR MASKS

People in various kinds of recovery groups would tell you that the first step to healing is to admit that you have a problem. I am proud of you that you have done that. I think that everyone wears masks sometimes, by the way – and we need to establish this fact (not so that we go a guilt trip about it) but so that we can begin to remove them. So here are some questions – When, and with whom, do you wear masks? Is it with friends? A certain group or groups of friends? At school? At home? With adults?

Through our work on The REAP Team, we receive questions from teens on a variety of topics – often about love, relationships, and faith. I’m always happy to help, if I can. So you can imagine my surprise and delight when I recently received a question I’ve never been asked before: “How do you know if you’ve loved your loved ones well enough before they’re gone?”