Underneath the costumes.

trick or treat

When you wear your vulnerability on the outside, your days can be a real struggle with balancing how much or little to reveal about yourself to the world. For me, this is a daily challenge. 

I am, in the deepest and truest form of myself, a very vulnerable human. I tend to wear it loudly. Knowing how much to reveal about myself is both a struggle and a gift. Most of the time, I look for the safe places - like the well-lit, pumpkin carved houses on Halloween night...they look warm, inviting and cozy from the outside. But often those same character traits are harder to see in humans. We don't wear our acceptance on the outside all the time. So many days, I just find myself trying to blend in in this world.

The problem with blending in for me is that it becomes as obvious as a glittered princess costume on Halloween night. I can't hide that it's really me under here. My authenticity has a way of stripping me bare and revealing who I really am to the world in the same way you can see that those trick-or-treaters are perhaps not TRULY superheroes just because they are wearing the shiny, glittered costume that says so. Those costumes show the world both what we are hiding from and what we dare wish to dream to become. We end up revealing a little too much in the hiding of our authentic selves.

We train our kids when they are little to dream big and for a moment let them become something they are not. But is that the right thing for them to learn...to cover up who they really are? Why can't they go as their authentic selves? Why can't we trick-or-treat as the vulnerable versions of who we are? "Trick-or-treat!!! I am feeling down and scared of my life today. I hate my hair and my boss is mad at me again....can I have some candy? Or should I just toilet paper your front trees since you aren't going to help me?" This seems like a much better idea than covering up our truth, hiding who we are struggling to get away from by throwing a super hero or (even worse) princess costume on ourselves.

Now don't get me wrong....I admittedly love seeing the kids run from house to house in their best costumes on Halloween night, proud parents standing at the street, sugar high kicking in right on my front porch. I love that people go all out for something - decorating every surface of their homes and selves for a cause. It seems to be almost spritual. But I can't help but wonder if we would all be better just presenting our authentic selves out there instead of the pretend versions we send out into the world every day. I can't help but wonder what all this covering up is for in the first place.

The world isn't made for vulnerability. So I will keep trying to blend in. And I will keep failing miserably at it. Because in truth, I just can't help anymore but to be who I really and truly am. Fully me...even under all this costuming.