You can find a million words, to build a wall of fear. Safe behind that wall, imprisoned here.
Take that someday step today, to who you’re meant to be.
And turn your dreams to plans so you can breathe” – Superchick- This is the Time
Confession: I’m not a fan of Halloween. I know, what’s wrong with me,right? The only thing I actually like about it is that it brings us that much closer to Thanksgiving and then… wait for it…. CHRISTMAS. Nevertheless, Halloween provides the perfect opportunity to do what we therapists do best: analyze human behavior. Surely, some of our finest moments as a human race must have occurred during this lovely holiday in which something mysterious and fascinating MUST be happening in our brain (sugar high?) that convinces us, otherwise rational humans, that it is perfectly normal and acceptable to wear masks of things like zombies, werewolves, etc. or worse, a zombies or werewolves with the weapon that killed them still in stuck in their head and knock on people’s doors expecting to be rewarded for such original fashion statements… So now that you have a beautiful visual in your head, as we watch people make these rational decisions, I can’t help but discover (invent) a deeper meaning to the holiday and what it represents to our society.
And I came to the following conclusion: life is a lot like halloween. And no, not because life is like a box of chocolates (although I completely agree with that statement, that Forrest knows his stuff!) In life, like Halloween, there is always an opportunity to live from a place of fear. Fear of failure. Fear of rejection. Fear of meaninglessness. And this fear sometimes causes us to wear a mask. We wear masks to hide parts of ourselves that we don’t want people to see. Maybe we wear a mask at work. Maybe we wear a mask with a significant other. Or a social group we are trying to impress. We think, “I can’t show them THAT”, “If they knew, THAT about me, they would… “This is a side of me everyone would think is…”
So instead, of actually embracing those things about ourselves and allowing it to grow our character, we hide them, buried deep down in the closet of our heart.The good and the bad. We hold the weight and spend all our energy trying to be people we’re not out of fear that we can never truly embrace all parts of ourselves and be loved and accepted regardless of what’s underneath the mask.
As a young therapist, I bring a lot of that fear into the therapy room with me. Although, ironically, I thought I was supposed to be “the one who has it together”, I often feel the most afraid, like I need to wear a mask in front of my clients so they don’t find out that… guess what I’M A HUMAN TOO?
Isn’t that the funny thing? In life, like during halloween, we ALL know there is something under the mask. We all know that there are things the next person is hiding and as unwilling to share as we are. And you know what is the funniest thing about it? We assume that the only ugly and scary masks are the ones we wear at Halloween. And only at Halloween are our true selves more beautiful. But the real ugliness is in the life masks. The gossip we engage in so that we fit in. The lie we tell to get us out of an ethical dilemma at work. The pleasantries we engage in at church or in social circles so we don’t have to really be honest about the terrible week we had when someone asks “how are you doing?” So why are we all so afraid? Because fear is a prison. We lock ourselves in our tower walls, and throw away the key. We’d rather stare at walls, and play our parts and recite the lines, than discover the risks and rewards that lay on the other side of those walls. But really, on the other side of that wall is where our dreams live. And if we were watching our lives on the movie screen, we would be screaming at ourselves, at the top of our lungs: “FORGET THE FEAR. JUMP THAT WALL. TURN YOUR DREAMS TO PLANS SO YOU CAN BREATHE.” The movie is only 1 hour and 20 minutes. They’ve got to jump that wall before it’s too late. Your life is only ________. Break down those walls and live your life like someone died for you, today. There’s no better time. This is the time, this is your life.
“What would you try if you had no fear”. Happy Halloween. Here’s to no fear.