Halloween is upon us once again. This is one of the most popular events of the year and this year we get to do it on a Saturday night, how cool is that! One of the reasons so many people enjoy Halloween is that we get to wear masks and costumes which reflect our secret selves. Maybe we would really like to be a super hero, or a villain, maybe we see ourselves in fanciful ways we can only express without others thinking us too weird on a day set aside for just that purpose. But back in the pages of history the Halloween experience (also known as All Hallows Eve) people donned masks of things they feared to gain power over that fear.
Today we find ourselves wearing masks all year ’round; the mask we think others expect us to wear, as the breadwinner, the leader, the dependable staff member, the parent and so on. The problem begins when we forget these masks are masks and not really ourselves. Rather than gaining power over the what the mask represents, we end up giving over our power to the mask! Oops, something went wrong here.
Certainly we do need to wear masks at certain times, they may actually help us in many ways, however when we forget who we are underneath, who we truly are, and begin to believe we must live up to the image of the mask, then we set up a downward spiral of dissatisfaction with ourselves, with others, with life as a whole.
So what do we do about this challenge? Make a game of it of course! When you prepare to kiss the kids goodbye for the day, give up the role you love as parent, say to yourself “ok, now I am going to put on the working person mask.” When you come home, tell yourself “working person mask off, loving parent back on duty.” Of course you can alter this to fit your needs, but the constant is to remember which is the mask, and which is you!