Costume parties and masquerade balls have no age restrictions. Many people of all ages enjoy dressing in disguise and wearing a mask. Even if only for a night, it’s fun to become the image of our hero or the star of our worst nightmare or our favorite fantasy.
In fact, for many of us, it can seem easier to be someone other than our real self. I admit that it has sometimes been more difficult to be my real self than to create a facade for a Halloween party.
What face do you put on every morning? Do your friends and co-workers know the real you? Or do they only see who you want them to see? How can you take off your mask and let your real self be seen and known?
Before we can be who we are, we need to know who we are. I love the title of a book I once saw on bookstore shelves: “Be Yourself, Everyone Else is Already Taken.”
I’ve come to learn that we each have an authentic self that God created – and it’s one of a kind, individual and special. I’ve found that I don’t need to be afraid to let others see the “real” me. Each of us has a life journey that’s about knowing our true selfhood. And each of us is someone worthy of knowing. Knowing oneself begins with a sincere desire to do so. And since God made you, you can be confident you’ll like what you learn. God does.
The Bible says, “The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God” (Romans 8:16). Can you imagine this? Spiritually speaking, each of us is a child of God with all the potential and possibility of what that means.
So don’t let anything deprive the world from knowing you – the real you. You might be tempted to think that you don’t matter, that your life doesn’t make a difference or is insignificant. These lies fool you into believing you are not worthy, not good enough, not skinny enough, or not capable enough.
You don’t need to let people, age, or circumstances dictate your identity or diminish your value. Actually, no one can undermine the talents and skills that are uniquely yours – not a teacher, friend, parent, spouse, or employer.
I have sometimes allowed myself to be saddened and depressed by something someone has said to me. I’ve let another’s words make me feel inconsequential, useless, and of no purpose. To counter this, I’ve found it important to be sure I’m investing in my physical, emotional, and spiritual self each day. Being “ourselves” can require some nurturing and tender, loving care. This includes blocking out time to consider and ponder how precious I am in God’s eyes.
I love this sentence that Mary Baker Eddy wrote in her book “Retrospection and Introspection,” “Each individual must fill his own niche in time and eternity” (p. 70). The word “must” in this statement has empowered me; it emphasizes the importance each one of us has. Each of us has a purpose that is important and significant to our Father-Mother God. Each of our missions is distinct and incomparable. It is our differences that make us special. We each have unique gifts and talents. So we can be what God meant us to be – ourselves.
Being special – being ourselves – means we are wondrous, esteemed, valuable, remarkable, exceptional, extraordinary, memorable, and second to none. We have a character, an identity, and numerous qualities that are distinguishable from those of other people.
Give yourself permission to be yourself. Be willing to learn about the son or daughter God created you to be. Be willing to perceive your God-centered self and explore and discover your talents and abilities. Remember, you “must” be you.
So have fun this Halloween wearing your favorite mask. But after Halloween, don’t put on a face other than your own each day. Everyone around you will be happy to meet you.