This week is the Holiday of Purim, also referred to as the Holiday of Masks, or the Holiday of Indulgence. While many would argue that the holiest day of the Jewish calendar is Yom Kippur, as it is the day of Atonement, I would suggest that Purim has the ability to be holier, and I am going to explain why.
It is easy to be holy when you are fasting in temple, praying all day. Yet, when permitted to indulge, not overdoing it nor behaving in an inappropriate manner is not nearly as simple.
It is stated in the Talmud that a person is known in three ways: when they are drunk, when they are angry, and when they must part with money. In all of these circumstances, one loses their inhibitions and the true face comes out. Ultimately, what they are doing is taking off their mask– what I choose to call the ‘first date mask’ that we wear daily, which is how we choose to present ourselves to the world. It is in these states that we do not have the ability to wear the mask, that our true personality often shows up.
I want to talk to you about a different mask: the mask that we put on others. You know how when we meet someone, or even see someone walking down the street, we have already sized them up? Based off of that first impression, we have already decided who and what they are, whether that be because of how they look, or how they carry themselves.
I find that when I do this, I rob myself of getting to know someone. However, the most dangerous mask we put on others is the one we put on those closest to us. Sure, we use these walls to protect ourselves, yet our judgments disallow ourselves and others from having humanity and giving one another the benefit of the doubt. These are the masks that truly rob us of vulnerable, open, and honest relationships. These are the masks, that if lifted, allow us to heal, to come together, and to truly see and be seen.
How do you prevent yourself from putting masks on others? And on a personal level, how do you muster the courage to take off your own mask?
This week, let’s take off our mask. Let’s show up as our authentic selves. Those who do not like it, or do not like us, are not worth having in our lives anyways, yet I bet you will be surprised with how much more liked, accepted, and loved you feel.
Accountability, Community, Unconditional Love
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