What Mask do you Choose?

Posted by Monika Meulman on

October 2021 Inspired Living News 

From the beginning of mankind, we have been known to wear a façade, a mask, to adopt a character. Throughout history, we can see, that men/women choose to don a mask to grow into their world. Would you agree or disagree?

This October, we’re honouring everything Halloween, everything it represents. Not just the modern day costume and the sharing of our bounty in the form of candy and treats, but also the older, the ancient traditions of masquerades, balls, acting, the players we invite into our lives.

For humanity to grow together and for our society to function, we readily take on rules in our lives. Many of us willingly take on personas to expand into new roles, but some of us adopt a cover to survive. Some masks can be healthy, stabilizing and create supportive roles for us: like being a motherly figure or a father figure, or the ‘strong one’ in the family. Perhaps, we accept a role or a mask to help cover who we truly are early on in our life, because we must. It can be an effective protection tool and serves to hide us from danger.

 A wolf in sheep’s clothing anyone? 

Now we find ourselves in the middle of (still in the middle but hopefully towards the last end) of a modern pandemic — where physical masks are mandatory.

I don’t know if you’ve noticed but over the last three, four or even more years there’s been this collective outcry of wanting to know the truth and revealing the truth, showing our true selves. The demand for truth, or unmasking if you will, has been prevalent in government bodies, international household name brands, large businesses and even popular icons, from all industries. At least on social media, this has been the modern rhetoric and the go to messaging.

Perhaps in the middle of all this mask wearing we are now being pushed one more step, even further along, to realizing how debilitating and uncomfortable and confining masks are in our lives. 

I invite you to think about the idea that wearing a mask is not the problem or the challenge. What seems to be quite clear in our modern life and has been true for thousands of years is the freedom to choose. I realize this is a polarizing issue but stop for a moment. Stop and breathe and just read that over again.  What I’m seeing out here is that over the thousands of years, whenever we have had the choice to put on a mask, the experience was very different than when we were forced to wear a mask whether it be a physical mask as a warrior or during modern pandemic times or a figurative mask to protect our feelings to protect our role in our family or in our society. When we feel we can choose, we readily adopt a mask for fun, for power, for entertainment…Have you noticed this?

It feels that the healing message for this month and for the coming years ahead could very well be that we must practice choosing with responsibility. Also, that we practice growing strong and balanced so that we are able and READY to choose responsibly. With freedom comes responsibility - and with great responsibility great comes power. 

[come on you know I had to quote Spiderman, 1962, on the great eve of Hallowed Eve, the Costume Olympics of the year!]  (( for research fun, see if you can find out exactly where that quote came from and how it was used in the comic, hint: who said it?))

 For the month of October, your challenge, if you choose to accept, it is to examine the masks you wear. Not just the one on your face to go shopping this fall, though they are quite fun and interesting to wear. No, take time to have a look at how you present yourself to the world and even to yourself in the mirror. Take pause and write down or meditate on the visage or masks that have served you well and the ones that have let you down. As the energy of the season urges us to gather, harvest, slow down and put away and store our resources, this is a wonderful exercise to harness strength and stock nourishment in our body mind and spirit.

As we fall into fall, let us enjoy Thanksgiving and Halloween. Welcome all the joys and fun this season is meant to bring and also allow time to discover how we truly wish to see ourselves and show  ourselves of the world.

True?

“Most of us remain strangers to ourselves, hiding who we are, and ask other strangers, hiding who they are, to love us.” 

—Leo Buscaglia


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