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Releasing the Masks We Wear

Halloween is right around the corner, so I’ve been thinking a lot about the masks: specifically, the masks we all wear to protect ourselves. I’ve been wondering… How far am I willing to go to release my resentments that mask my life experience and keep distance between myself and others? What does wearing this mask cost me? And what value does it hold for me?

This is coming up because my Chinese medicine doctor told me that the lower part of the belly — where I have a painful condition (shingles) — is known as the basin. “It’s where all the junk is collected and held,” he said.

Junk like old and unhealed resentments. Darn it. Darn it. Darn it.

There was a moment when the shingles was at its worst where I physically and emotionally surrendered and focused on opening myself up to hear or learn what I was being asked to know. I spent the next two days in bed, curled up in a ball of pain — and information about an old resentment against my parents that I didn’t know I held kept coming up for me. So I did some forgiveness work and felt a whoosh inside me. It was palpable and seemed significant.

I shared this with my Chinese medicine doctor who said, “Yes, you understand then. Well, the good news is you get what I’m saying. The frustrating news is you’re not done because the pain persists. There’s more healing of old hurt that your body is asking you to heal.”

Darn it. Sigh.

Can you relate to moments like this? Moments when you thought you were done and then realized you weren’t? It’s kind of like giving birth to a baby, only to find out in that moment that you’ve been carrying twins!

So I’ve ramped up my meditation practice, focused my attention on being open to receiving, and have taken actions toward fierce vulnerability with myself and others. All of this in an effort to remove any internal masks that could be preventing my full healing. I feel hopeful and satisfied, and I am enjoying this deeper level of authenticity.

And most importantly: I trust my process.

What masks would you like to release? How about joining me this Halloween month in doing something – symbolic or concrete – to support an aspect of your healing or deepening of your relationship with others, or with yourself? I’d enjoy the company!

Tags: challenges, compassion, Connection, Healing, Peace, presence

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