leave-the-mask-for-halloween

Someone recently pointed out to me that the only time of year that we openly wear a mask and even celebrate the choice of our mask for its creativity is Halloween. Then, Halloween is over, the mask disappears and we leave the fantasy role behind. But, what about the mask that we wear when we play certain roles in our lives, roles that we no longer want to play but feel compelled to?

The mask I wore for as long as I can remember was the “good girl” mask. I always put a good face on things. If I thought it would upset someone, I kept my feelings to myself. I never rocked the boat. Why did I play this role? Because I wanted everyone to like me. So ingrained was this way of being, I didn’t even realize I was playing a role.

Then, came the unmasking.

At a Superbowl party years ago, one of my friends decided to stand up in front of the TV during a crucial play. What followed next was an outburst that I could never imagine I was capable of. I told my friend, in no uncertain terms, to get the f@$# out of the way. The moment the words escaped my lips I was in total disbelief. All the action stopped and everyone was looking at me totally surprised. My friends had never seen me act this way. I wished the floor would open and swallow me up. I wanted to disappear. But there I was, naked, no longer hiding behind my “good girl” mask.

My “good girl” mask was the creation of my Imagined Truth™ belief, I’m bad. You see, when I was pretty young, I was moved to my grandmother’s home. As small children tend to do when there is some upheaval in the household, I felt I must have done something wrong. I must have been a bad girl. So in my kid brain I thought that I better behave and be as good as possible so I wouldn’t be left again.

On that Superbowl Sunday when I stood there unmasked and no one left the room! This experience began to poke holes in my I had to be nice/good at all times for people to like me belief. Over the years I’ve gotten to know my Imagined Truth ™ for the illusion it really is. I’ve come to see that I don’t need to fear expressing myself. I still have moments when I might hesitate saying what’s really there but being aware that my Imagined Truth is at work, I no longer feel compelled to hide behind a “good girl” mask. I now choose to speak my truth and, being true to myself is quite liberating!

What mask do you hide behind in between Halloweens?