October 25, 2010

Looking Beneath the Disguise.

Self-Awareness and Halloween?

Witches, fairies, cowboys, gangsters: children and adults garbed in costumes and disguises have arrived for Trick or Treatin’ fun.  Everyone has spent days and weeks preparing. They are dressed in their finest, scariest, most daring costumes. You are in awe of the creativity, of the variety, and maybe even a little nervous or frightened.

Soon, however, you realize that beneath that pirate’s patch is your good buddy; behind the ghoulish mask is your friendly neighbour. As you recognize people for who they truly are, you relax and are able to fully enjoy the festivities.

So it is with life.

We all wear disguises. We put them on as part of everyday life. They are created to identify, to protect, to deflect, and to camouflage. Some are extensive and elaborate. Others are simple and effective. You may make a clown of yourselves or dress up as a ghost of yourself. But can you recognize yourself? Can you recognize others for who they truly are?

Looking beneath the disguise is one of the most terrifying, yet exciting aspects of life. Discovering who you are, valuing your unique individuality, facing your fears, growing and accepting change. Then turning that same light on others; scratching beneath the surface to recognize their hopes, dreams, and apprehensions. Are they so very different from you?

Sometimes a mask may actually encourage your inner self to come out. Other times you use it to hide. Whatever the purpose of the disguise, awareness of who you are and why you do what you do is essential to living an authentic, mindful life.

Recognize yourself for the glorious being you are. Allow yourself to shine forth, being true to yourself in all that you do. Then search diligently to discover the wonder in others. By doing so you will be able to relax and fully partake of all life has to offer.

Photo by Alyssa L. Miller

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