Are You Wearing A Mask?
Yesterday was Halloween also known as All Hallows’ Eve. It is a celebration observed in many countries on October 31. There is much history with roots in age-old European traditions of lighting fires and wearing costumes to ward off ghosts and remembering the dead. In the second half of the nineteenth century, Halloween became a popular day of celebration in the United States. Today, Americans spend an estimated $6 billion annually on Halloween, making it the country’s second largest commercial holiday after Christmas.
Today as I was driving to work, it occurred me that Halloween is the one holiday when people can dress-up as anything or anyone that they want to and hide behind or play the part of that identity or mask all day long. Now, I have to admit, I have seen some VERY creative costumes over the years, and I take my hat off to those people with such vivid imaginations. But, back to the masks and dressing up; I wonder how many of us go beyond Halloween metaphorically being someone that we are not? How many of us pretend to be someone other than our authentic self? And, why would we? Are we afraid to show up as the real us? If so, what is it that we fear? Is it not being accepted by others? Is it that we don’t feel worthy? Do we think if people knew who we indeed are, they would reject us in some way? Do we lack self-esteem, so we pretend to be someone we are not?
And, with the advent of social media, we can continue this game of charades with little risk of getting found out by our so-called friends and followers. I don’t know the answer to these questions, but one thing I do know for sure is that you can run, but you can’t hide. Pretending to be someone we are not is exhausting. Choosing to play small and remaining stuck doesn’t serve you or anyone around you. Because when your life is out of alignment, all kinds of challenges find their way to you; fatigue, depression, hormonal imbalances, breakdowns in social and personal relationships, and financial trouble to name a few.
I invite you to become a truth seeker, live life large, play full out and approach your life intentionally. Have the courage to take off the masks, seek to surround yourself with people, places, and things that bring you joy. Break up with anyone or anything that does not support who you truly are. Stress and anxiety and fear are choices, bad ones. Instead choose love, joy, simplicity, and abundance. And choose them a lot, like every single day! And another thing, put those masks and costumes away, all of them. Stop pretending and start being you.