Halloween is my favorite holiday. It’s the one day of the year where you can be anything that you want to be without people questioning you. As Halloween approached and all of the costume stores started cropping up, I began thinking about the concept of masks. We wear different masks at various times throughout our day. This contemplation reminded me of a comment that was made earlier this year at a dream circle. Someone stated that they enjoyed being at the circle because there were no masks there. What that person meant was that the people at the circle could be themselves and share their dreams without judgment and without having to pretend to be someone they’re not. Because the environment created at the dream circle is a respectful one, we could all express our true thoughts and opinions to one another in a non-projective and non-offensive way. How often do we experience that? How often do we hold back or change who we are to blend in and/or avoid conflict? Think about that…
We play different roles depending on the environment that we are in and the people that we are around. Sometimes this is healthy, but other times it isn’t. Think about a time in your life where you had to mask who you truly were in order to avoid a conflict. I know that I have done this many times while working in a corporate environment. At times, it was easier not telling management that an idea wasn’t going to work than to deal with the repercussions of speaking up and being labeled “difficult.” Have you ever gone though a major life challenge and emerged a different person? Did you have to mask the new you and pretend to be the old you in order to continue fitting in with a group of friends because you didn’t want to let them go from your life?
Think about all of the masks that you wear, the roles that you play. Does a mask no longer serve its purpose or your highest good? What if you took that mask off? Imagine what that would be like now. How would you look? What would you sound like? How would it feel? What do you experience while being authentic to yourself? How does that experience differ from having to wear that mask? How would your life change if you retired that mask and didn’t wear it anymore?
On the other hand, maybe you are thinking of making a change in your life or taking on a new role. Imagine putting that mask on. How do you look? Do you sound different? How does it feel? Do you like the experience of wearing this new mask? If not, you can go ahead and take the mask off and know that it is not for you. If you do like the new mask, what would you have to do to keep it? Map out a simple action plan. The subconscious mind doesn’t know the difference between real and imagined. That’s what allows us to perform these little imagination experiments.
From time to time, evaluate the masks that you wear in life. Get rid of the ones that no longer serve you. Don’t be afraid to try on ones that you think you might like.