Sunday, October 28, 2012

Halloween, the holiday we celebrate 364 days a year

I’m not a big Halloween fan; spooky, scary stuff don’t appeal to me and I try to stay away from things that go “bump in the night.” I don’t like horror movies either—especially the “torture-porn” genre that have become the norm like Saw or Hostel  (I actually think it’s disturbing that someone could be entertained by watching another human be gruesomely killed, but that’s for another blog).  One thing I’ve noticed about Halloween, it’s perhaps the only day of the year we are actually honest with everyone else. What do I mean?

Halloween is when we actually outwardly show something we tend to do all year long—Not be ourselves.  When celebrating Halloween, we explicitly pretend to be someone we are not, or someone we want to be, or someone we wish we could be whereas the other 364 days of the year we’re far less explicit about it.  Halloween is perhaps then the one day of the year we’re actually being honest with ourselves and everyone else.

 As if we weren’t hard enough on ourselves, very often it’s the external influences of others telling us who we should be or how we should act, trying to label us or force us into labels.  We’ve got friends, or family, or society trying to push their expectations on us. Like truly being ourselves wasn’t hard enough already, we’ve got to try to fit into the labels others make for us or be who they expect us to be.

A wise man once told me that we spend our whole lives learning to be ourselves, growing comfortable with ourselves, accepting ourselves for who we really are.  It’s a calling perhaps; our destiny in life is to be ourselves, to become comfortable in our own skin and celebrate what makes us individually who we are. 

What if instead of celebrating being someone different—or not being ourselves—we celebrate being authentic? What if we were honest with ourselves about who we really were and what we really wanted? What if we stood alongside those wanting to come out and be there true selves?  Further, what if we created safe places and safe spaces were people (including us!) could be who they really are?!

Maybe for Halloween this year we can “dress up” as a “mysterious, often unseen spirit” – our true self!

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