For many of us around the world, Halloween is a time where we let our imagination and creativity run wild! We wear masks and disguises and go out having fun pretending to be someone outside our daily lives.
When it’s over, we go home, remove our masks and go back to our daily lives.
But, how many of us continue to wear an “Inner Mask?”
All around this beautiful world we live in, so many of us get up every morning behind a mask of our beliefs, cultures and traditions. A mask which we cling to, to validate our existence and that separates us by thinking that our way is the best way and only way.
For years, I woke up wearing my own inner mask.
Being of Italian background, I spend most of my childhood growing up in an Italian community, east of Montreal.
You guessed it, I grew up believing that everything Italian (culture, tradition, beliefs, values, food and so on), was the best and only way. Yup, this was the mask I wore everyday!
Until I started working with the public in downtown Montreal. If you’ve ever been to Montreal, you know it is a multicultural city with people of diverse cultures and backgrounds.
Well, with the opportunity of meeting and talking to people outside my Italian world, I felt like the “Little Prince” who landed on a new planet.
I loved it!
I listened and observed in awe! I removed my mask and was introduced to a variety of different ways of doing things, thinking and living!
Needless to say, I discovered my passion for traveling!
Today, I’ve lived in different countries and discovered different cultures and learned to speak Spanish.
By removing my mask, I learned so much about myself and humanity through others perceptions and life experiences.
We have all, at some point, known loneliness, anger, hurt and laughter and have all had our share of struggles and moments of pleasure.
Our masks have disconnected us from the universal bond of sharing that connects humans and gives purpose to our existence, despite our different backgrounds.
I have also learned that there is so much more I don’t know. That’s the beauty of living. In the acceptance of not knowing, we embrace life like a child; eager to explore our wonderful world without limiting ourselves behind a mask.
True wisdom does not lie behind our mask. It only limits us from discovering that we all have something valuable to learn about who we are from each other’s different life experiences and backgrounds.
I think Paulo Coelho said it best, when he said:
“It’s one thing to feel that you are on the right path, but it’s another to think that yours is the only path.”
If we take off our masks, we no longer look at another through the eyes of our mask. They become a reflection of our own inner conflict. We are no longer separated. In that bond of sharing, we are no longer isolated, but connected as one!
I sometimes wonder if this is possible. Maybe, we can find out together by at least trying.