Halloween is one of my very favorite holidays! For as far back as I can remember, I have loved the idea of dressing up as something I am not. Clown, pirate, gypsy, hobo, lamb, cowgirl, vampire – even a spider. I loved it so much that long after my parents put a stop to my trick or treating, I still dressed up on Halloween.
In high school I would dress up and walk around scaring the little kids (not necessarily admirable but very fun). In college I made sure that I attended as many costume parties as I could. When I became a fully-grown adult (notice that I didn’t say mature adult), I began to host murder parties. Once I got married, I convinced my husband that he needed to dress up and be a part of my costume adventure, too.
The little trick or treaters in my neighborhood count on dropping by our house to see who we are dressed up as every year. I don’t just put on different clothes; I use wigs, makeup and change the way I speak for a night. I do my best to fully become the part I am playing. For one night I get to pretend!
But, wait, how much of that is pretending? Don’t we all have different characters inside of us that are just waiting for an invitation to show up and take center stage? You must admit that there is a big difference between the times when the clown shows up to lead the meeting as compared to the lamb. The clown is there to keep things light and make people laugh when things are tense. The lamb on the other hand is there to create a warm, fuzzy feeling where people feel safe and at peace.
I think the spider uses her magic to create a sticky web and gets everyone all wrapped up in what she wants. The vampire simply sucks the energy and positivity out of everyone. I bet we have all been trapped in a room with a vampire!
The older I get the more I have come to realize that I don’t need a costume to bring out a different part of myself. There are many voices and personalities inside of me that have a role to play when the time is right. As we watch Halloween come and go this year, I challenge you to consider the characters you use.
Which parts of you are on stage too much? Which parts of you have been hiding and need to show up? Which are the voices that you love best and which ones show up that you want to lock in the basement? It seems like a good time to take a look at the characters at play in our lives. Some you may decide to wear more often, and some may go right back in the closet!