Halloween gives us the opportunity to step out of our comfort zones and play a different character for the night. Some of us decide to go scary, while some become a little more scandalous, and a few break out the creativity – regardless, we all put on a face that doesn’t belong to us and go to brew up some trouble.
We all have the excuse that it’s Halloween and we can do and be whoever and whatever we would like, because the next morning, we’ll wake up, wash off the makeup or face paint and be back to our normal selves. The image we portray is temporary and with everyone else joining in on the charade, it’s easy to pretend.
But in matters of love and of our hearts, is it ever okay to play make believe? Can we trick ourselves into a treat, or out of one, because we become something we’re not? Or is it okay to experiment and see what we feel, what we think, and how we respond to something out of our character.
Is experimenting bad or is it just part of the journey? Part of recovery? Part of the falling in love with ourselves?
Lately, I’ve been trying not to put myself in a box. I’ve always been very rule-oriented – maybe because I’m a Virgo or because that’s just who I am, I’m not quite sure. But I’ve always supported self-imposed rules that have dictated my choices, my actions, and my feelings.
I’m guilty of using phrases like “have to” or “can’t” when it comes to everything from exercise and sex to my career. I can’t kiss him or he’ll think I’m easy. I can’t have sex with someone out of a relationship or I’ll feel awful about it afterwards. I have to go to the gym at least five days a week or I’ll gain weight and look bad. I have to have a certain amount of internships to make it in publishing. I have to write in a certain so I’ll get the specific job I want.
I should, I can’t, I must, I won’t, I have to – all of these words are so limiting. They don’t allow me to treat myself or to try something new. They play mind tricks with me that make me feel guilty or make me feel like I’m not good enough or I have short comings. It makes me feel suffocated and stuck in a rut that I’m so desparately trying to break free of.
No, I don’t think I should start sleeping around or stop going to the gym (I do love running, after all), and I don’t think I should stop freelancing or stop improving my writing. But I do think my language needs to change and so does the amount of pressure I put on myself.
If I want to kiss someone, I want be able to do that without fear of what other people think or feeling less ladylike. If I want to take more than one day off a week from working out, I want to be able to do that without worrying about my hips spreading.
And I shouldn’t have to trick my mind into allowing me to treat myself – but rather, just go with the flow. Love myself in the same unconditional form I love my friends and my family. Forgive myself if I do something that later I may not feel 100 percent good about. Believe that every experience, every bump in the road, or sporadic decision is just bringing me one step closer to security and self-love, and eventually, the love I’ll find with the right man.
I don’t want to put on a face or stay locked up in a routine or a mindset that limits me from exploring, being, and trying all that I want to experience. I don’t want to have to put on a costume to taste a new flavor I haven’t before, but I also don’t want to miss out on my youth for fear of doing the wrong thing.
Where is the line between treating and tricking? Where’s the happy ground between living openly and freely and staying true to ourselves?
Can you ever really, have the treat, without the trick?