Happy Halloween – Beyond the mask

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Is life a gift from God, or is it deeper than that?  Is God Life itself?


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Beyond the mask

From the Official Blog of Thomas Mitchinson, Illinois Committee on Publication

As Halloween approaches, we prepare for the arrival of vampires, mummies, nurses, firemen and superheroes of all kinds. They come to our doors, ring our bells, and ask us to give them something that satisfies their desire for a “treat”. We are not concerned about their approaching our door, but instead welcome them, smile at their innocence, and are gratified to hear their “thank you”s.

Children come to our doors in all sorts of costumes, and we revel in their fun.

But as the seasons change and the years pass, what was once familiar and happy can turn into sad remembrances of people no longer in our lives and a sense of “growing older”. We may find ourselves caring for adult children and parents; being “empty nesters”; or facing retirement. Are feelings of sadness or grief more prevalent than happiness and joy?

Maybe age is also a mask of some sort.

Do we feel ourselves becoming increasingly helpless, worried and useless? Are we being perceived differently by others just because our hair is changing color? Is our opinion less valuable because we are now “retired”? Our innate goodness, worth and joy are still there, even if feelings of sadness are trying to replace them.

US News’ “How to Live to 100 Project” shares 22 steps to a happier life. One of the first steps that includes all of us, no matter our age, includes the following:

Express gratitude

Avoid social comparison

Practice acts of kindness

Nurture social relationships

Learn to forgive

Focus on the present moment

Savor life’s joys

Practice religion and spirituality

Take care of your body

While 50 may be the new 30, and 60 may be the new 40, it’s important to not be defined by our number of years. It is important to avoid any ruts. Spontaneity is a wonderful quality that helps us stay young. To find new things to do, new places to serve and yes, new ways to think, is important to our happiness and health.

One new way to think is to stop defining of ourselves by a particular age.

Value life – and concentrate on how you can make that life valuable to yourself and others. The recording of age-numbers often brings limitations into our experience. Instead of thinking that our lives are getting closer to death, we are now letting our lives expand into increased loving, caring, forgiving and joy.

Is life a gift from God, or is it even deeper than that? Is God Life itself?

Christian Science founder Mary Baker Eddy wrote, “Life is eternal. We should find this out, and begin the demonstration thereof. Life and goodness are immortal. Let us then shape our views of existence into loveliness, freshness, and continuity, rather than into age and blight” (Science and Health p. 246).

Just some thoughts about masks.