What is Behind the Mask?
By Sharon Monteiro
October 31st is Halloween and it is celebrated all over the world. It is a fun holiday and people get to wear masks, dress crazily and, just for one night, live their fantasies of being heroes or scary monsters.
Wearing masks is not unique to Halloween. We all wear emotional masks to cover and protect our vulnerabilities. If we are sad, we are taught to wash our faces and smile, when we are angry, we are told to face the wall in silence. In effect, we are taught to hide our emotions as they are ‘bad’ and people would not like us if we expressed how we felt.
Teach your children to live without their masks because if they continued to live their life behind a mask very soon they will forget how to express themselves and this will make them feel isolated, frustrated, and miserable.
Teach them that if their friends reject them because they were being genuine then they were better off without these friends and they could create space for new friends who would accept them for who they really are.
Teach your child to love himself – with the good, the bad and the ugly. Use your eyes and heart to speak to him because words alone will not do. Make him feel special and let him know that you love his perfection and flaws. Soon he will love, accept, and approve of himself and then the magic happens. Everyone begins to love everything about him because he has given them permission to do so.
It may be too late for us, but it is never too late for our children. So let us give them the gift of truly being themselves!
Be true to yourself. Live life authentically.