As children and adults dress up in costumes and don their masks so that they can celebrate Halloween, I think about the masks we often believe that we need to wear to gain recognition and acceptance in this world. Consider the world of work, social circles, and even our personal lives. How often do we wear masks that portray what we believe is required and hide how we are really feeling or what we truly believe? How often do we pretend to be something we aren’t in order to advance or to gain approval from those in power or with whom we seek acceptance or inclusion? How often do we sublimate our beliefs and values in order to fulfill the requirements of a role we believe we need to fill?
Is living behind an assortment of masks that we believe is necessary to gain approval and acceptance an authentic way to live? Is masquerading as the persona we believe is required in any given situation the way we truly want to live our lives? Who are we when we take off our masks? Who are we beneath any layers of pretense?
I’ll tell you who we are. We are all radiant spiritual beings with inherent worth. We don’t have to pretend to be anyone or to play a role in order to gain acceptance or approval because God loves us unconditionally and eternally. We, oh beautiful Children of God, are expressions of Divine Love, and as such, how can we be anything but beautiful and worthy?
It should be easy to let our inner lights shine and be all that we know ourselves to be, but my experience has been that knowing and embracing this makes surviving and thriving in this world challenging. It seems that I am continually striving to maintain my balance on the tightrope walk of my life — wanting, more than anything, to live a spiritual existence in a world constructed by the egoic mind and based on separation, competition, and power. I know that, at the level of our spiritual essence, we are not of this world, but we do have to live in it, for the time being.
Knowing that I am God’s Child, as you are, as we all are, I still struggle with masks. I want to rip them off and throw them all away. I want to be open and vulnerable and raw so that I can be authentically me, but I am also faced with needing to survive in a competitive, superficial world. I still catch myself striving to gain acceptance in a world that is anything but authentic. I still find myself sublimating who I am to maintain approval in this egoic world. And I ask myself why I continue to do this when I know my true identity.
What I have realized with the veils that have been lifted from my understanding so far is that spiritual awareness is not a destination or an accomplishment. My awareness of who I am and what that means in my life is a journey that requires focus and practice until I can stand authentically in the light of my spiritual being in every moment, no matter what the external reality might appear to require of me. For me, it is learning to walk my truth, learning to live what I experience when I retreat from the external world and go within to the light of my own being.
My dear spiritual sisters and brothers, I pray that you can find your way to releasing the masks that you wear to reflect back what you believe is required in this ego-dominated world. I pray that you can experience the radiant light of your spiritual being and that you can begin to be that light in the world. Imagine the world that we will create when we allow our inner lights to shine and they merge in the brilliant Oneness in which we were created. Namaste, my dears.