Happy Halloween! Today as the kiddos don their super hero, zombie and cowpoke costumes, I invite you to consider the costumes that you wear every day of your life.

One thing I have learned about us humans (and yes, that includes me) is that we hide our fears and darkest feelings behind the  superficial mask that we display as our outward identity.


Photo by lobstar28, shared via Flickr

What aspects of yourself do you regularly refuse to accept? What deep feelings and fears do you stuff into an inner closet and try to forget about? These are your shadow selves and they beg for your love and attention. They get displayed just like a movie projector right out of your dark inner closet and on to people around you. Anyone that you have a strong reaction to is likely a projection of  some disowned aspect of yourself.

The opinionated uncle who you clench your teeth around? He is showing you that you have some opinions that you are stuffing. Do you get uncomfortable when someone gets upset or angry? Perhaps you learned to hide your own anger behind a happy face. That greedy politician that gets you in a lather? There might just be greedy parts of yourself that you don’t want to openly admit to (like the way you snack emotionally).

And, these shadowy, spooky parts are also a precious treasure. If honored and welcomed, they bring you back to a state of wholeness. I am not suggesting you should become the opinionated, angry, greedy person you dislike, but I believe that if you acknowledge these parts of your own human nature, you can be more honest with yourself and others about your vulnerabilities.

So strip off the costumes of perfection, “I’m fine”,  and “I don’t need/feel x and y” and get ready to feel more connected and at peace.

“It is by going down into the abyss that you recover the treasures of life. Where you stumble, there lies your treasure.” -Joseph Campbell