It’s Halloween time again with lots of little ones coming up to us with their cries of ‘trick or treat’. It’s fun to see all the costumes and trying to figure out who’s hiding behind the mask. Whereas these masks are intentionally put on and for fun, how often do you unknowingly hide behind a mask?
I’m not talking about a halloween mask, but rather a ‘personality’ mask. It may be a mask we put on at work, or at church, or with your friends or even with people we first meet. Is everyday at work a ‘halloween party’ for you because you hide behind a mask out of fear that they will see the true you? Do you put on the ‘I’m the perfect parent’ mask as you take your kids to the weekly religious service? How many of us men put on the ‘I’m tough’ mask and hold back our emotions so as not to be judge as being soft?
I remember a part of Matthew Kelly’s book Perfectly Yourself 9 Lessons for Enduring Happiness when he poses this question. If you were in a room full of people from work, church, neighborhood, family, old friends and new acquaintances and they were all talking about you, would it be obvious that they were talking about the same person? Many times it’s not so obvious because we ‘act’ differently depending upon where we are or who we are around and reveal only parts of ourselves to others based upon our comfort level in that situation. To those with whom we are most comfortable we are able to give the gift of true self and come out from behind the mask.
Imagine what it would be like to put those masks away so that you can be who you truly are all the time! No more pretending to be in a perfect marriage, or to be the perfect parent or the tough guy. No more pretending, it’s time to live an authentic life. When you live without all the masks, you are able to enjoy deeper relationships, have more energy, be a better role model for your kids and feel a greater sense of peace being you instead of acting like someone else. As the quote by Bernard Baruch says “Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those that matter don’t mimd.”
Instead of using that energy that you spend on hiding, utilize that energy to work on accepting and loving who you are and enjoying the life you have today. The cool thing is that when you let go of your false self and acknowledge and live as your truest self, you will enjoy life even more. So save those masks in a box labeled ‘Halloween stuff’.