Halloween isn’t the only day that many people wear masks and costumes. How many of us wear masks every day and pretend to be someone we aren’t in order to feel like we belong? How many of us are truly our authentic selves?
I invite you to reflect on these questions:
- Have you added your own version of gossip about someone because everyone else was telling the latest and greatest news about other people and you wanted to feel included?
- Have you laughed at a joke that belittled a group of people or a gender because everyone else was laughing or because the joke-teller thought it was hilarious?
- Have you pretended that someone’s words didn’t hit hard and hurt deeply in order to play it cool?
- Have you pretended to be what you imagined someone else wanted so that they would like you and want to be your friend or partner?
- Have you subjected yourself to social events so that you could feel included but you felt completely out of place and spent that time wanting to be anywhere else?
- Have you observed other people’s excitement and apparent happiness and tried to emulate what they do and say so that you can experience what they seem to have?
- Have you displayed an attitude of compliance and acceptance in a situation that had your inner self screaming in resistance?
These are only a fraction of the plethora of examples from our lives that call on us to take part in the “masquerade” we call life. I know that I can say yes to each question, and I realize just how often I have presented a false image of me so that I could feel like I fit in. No matter how hard I tried to be other than who I am, I always felt uncomfortable. I always felt like I didn’t really belong. How untrue I have been to my authentic self! What a fraud I have been! No wonder I felt uncomfortable! I wasn’t being me! I was trying to be what I thought I should be in the eyes of the world in order to fit in, to be accepted, and to be liked.
Who are we really? It is only when we get quiet and go within that we can truly answer this question. We need to get past the noise and commotion of the outside world and find the stillness that is within each of us. In that quiet, gentle peace, we can ask, “Who am I?” When we are ready to listen, the answer will come, and we will realize what we, as spiritual beings, have known all along and have quietly held in loving trust until we were ready to remember our true identities.
Who we are cannot be found in the outer world; the answer is found within each of us. We are God’s own children created in perfection as expressions of absolute Love. That we have forgotten this Truth is apparent when we look at the insanity of our world and our lives and recognize how ego-driven they are. We are living in a world created by our egos — a world that seeks to separate us from each other and to make us fearful of what others may do to us and protective of what we have. We are trying to fit into a world that is everything we truly are not. No wonder we feel uncomfortable as we try to fit in.
I have decided to take my mask off and to be true to who I really am. In doing that, I no longer feel compelled to try to find acceptance in a world gone mad with greed and power. I know that I have found my true identity because I feel such an inner knowing and a real sense of coming home.
Will you take your mask off and be true to who you really are? Will you recognize when you are taking part in the masquerade of life and explore what it means to be authentically you? You will know when you have found your true identity because you will experience the embrace of your soul and the deep knowing and peace of coming home.