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Take Off the Mask

On Hallowe’en, it is socially acceptable to wear masks. Funny ones, scary ones, cat ones, clown ones- - there’s pretty much a mask for every occasion. Unfortunately, long after Hallowe’en is over, we continue to wear masks. Maybe not actual plastic ones, but we do wear masks - from the ‘I’m fine’ mask, to the ‘Everything is fantastic’ mask. We all, from time to time, are guilty of donning masks that hide our true feelings. Which makes sense, to some extent. It’s not fun to break down at the check out counter when you answer truthfully to the question, ‘How are you?’

One of our greatest fears - besides standing up in public to give a speech - is that if we take off our mask and show our vulnerabilities, we will be rejected or even ridiculed. It can be a scary thing to fathom. But starting to unveil the mask to those we trust is a necessary first step to healing. To admitting we are not perfect. To admitting that we are flawed. To admitting that we have insecurities. But this is not rare - everyone is flawed. That is what makes us human.

If everyone is wearing a mask, we perpetuate the illusion that everybody is ok. And this doesn’t help anyone feel seen or heard. By wearing masks, we are effectively saying, ‘No need to check in. I’m good.’ In doing this, we are getting further away from the truth. Further away from ourselves. And further away from each other.

There is nothing weak about asking for help. In fact, taking off that mask and asking for help IS strength. It IS brave. And it IS necessary if change is going to happen.

Normal …is a setting on a dryer. Do not strive to be perfect. Strive to be you. Strive to be authentic. And strive to take off that mask.