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Why Do We Wear Masks on Halloween?

Do you know the story behind why we wear masks at Halloween? In Celtic lore, Halloween is the time when the veil between the living and dead is thin, so spirits can come and visit. 

When the door is open, all spirits can come through, not just the friendly, loving ones. People believed that this was the time when the naughty dead would come to wreak their revenge, so they wore masks to disguise themselves so they wouldn't be recognized.

In other words, they wore masks to stay safe. Isn't that why we still wear them today?

What happens when you take off your mask

I love dressing up and have tons of costumes. I can't remember the last time I wore a scary mask, but I did this year. The reaction was priceless! Some people thought I wasn't real. They mistook me for a prop. Some were really disturbed. Lots could not stop looking at me.

As an introvert who either doesn't notice when people look at me or don't particularly need to be seen, this was a giant departure from my norm. It was a lot of fun for the day.

When the night was over, I washed my makeup off and went back to my natural face and my authentic self. Here's what that was like to be me again.

Authentic. The interactions I have with people without a mask are more genuine and true on both sides. I don't have to wonder if they are reacting to my facade.
Connected. Lots of people came up to talk to me and get a picture. Interaction was not connection. Connection relies upon authenticity to have any meaning and depth. You can't connect to someone who isn't showing up as their true self. I'd rather have connection.
No expectations. As soon as I saw someone's reaction to my mask, I remembered I was a playing a persona and stepped into that role. It was fun, but it's also a burden to have to think about who I am supposed to be. Without a mask, there are no expectations, so it's easy.
Freeing. The mask is designed to hide and protect me, but it felt like armor in the end. I felt bound by my character. Taking it off was freeing.
take off your mask

As I removed all the grease paint and hair spray, I mused on how releasing baggage is similar. It takes some effort and guts to get it to wash away. It's a lot easier to just leave it all on, but it feels so clean and light to have it gone.

We all have one shot at living this life, in this body, in this time. Do you really want to live it as someone else?

If you need help removing your mask(s), reach out. I help people remove the things that stand in the way of authenticity without having to talk about it. What could be easier?


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