In the spirit of Halloween, I thought I’d talk about the masks we wear. What or who are you hiding from? We all wear different masks at different times, but some of us never take off our mask. Our mask might cover our insecurities, fears, or flaws. Some people exert a lot of energy to keep their masks on to avoid intimacy, commitment, conflict, rejection, or failure. We may think that our mask will protect us from others, but maybe it is ourselves that we are hiding from. For example, the arrogant, obnoxious, and aggressive individual often wears a mask to cover his insecurities and fears. Sometimes people overcompensate and act as if they are someone who they’re not, because they fear that their true self will be rejected. How do you find your true self? The simple solution is by removing the mask. Obviously it’s a little more complicated than that. Honesty is a good place to start, both with yourself and others. Be honest about your needs, thoughts, feelings, and desires. Allow yourself to be vulnerable and trust in your ability to handle others reactions and responses. One of my favorite lines from A Few Good Men is “you can’t handle the truth”. When our masks are off we allow others to get close to us, accepting their love and constructive criticism, and experience relationships more fully. People who live life with the mask on only observe life, while those who live with the mask off participate in life.