When I was a young single white mother of a biracial child living in Los Angeles, I felt like I needed to introduce my child to other biracial children like him. He would say, “Mommy, I want my hair to be yellow and straight like yours, and my skin to be your peach color.” His hair was dark brown and curly. His skin was a gorgeous light milk chocolate. It didn’t matter, though, because a child imitates its parents, and it was painful to him that he couldn’t.
I needed to teach him this by exposing him to others that looked like him so he could have other children who understood. I found a group in LA called MASC. It stood for Multiracial Americans of Southern California. MASC is still going strong today. With that group, we’d do different activities, and the kids would get to know others that didn’t fit in one box. I also took him to black churches in Inglewood, skating rinks in Compton, anywhere I could find that I thought would help him see his beauty as he was.
Then one day, I realized all my attention was focused on the external masks, the bodies that cover these Souls we were. It hit me that this was not really the point. We stopped going to meetings.
My son is grown up now and was telling me yesterday he is attending a wedding with 300 people who are all dressing up in costume. Now the bride and groom wouldn’t be the only ones dressed in costume. As it is the month of the masks, it made sense, and I thought how fun that sounded. A clever idea by the ever-creative 20 somethings as they bust out of traditional memes and into new frontiers. I also thought about how this generation is less into masks (in an ironic twist) and more into locating their authentic core.
I thought about how we all wear masks–even when we don’t. For example, I wear the mask of the roles I take: mother, wife, daughter, student, teacher, writer, poet, health coach, friend, etc. And this is true for each of us. It’s like we’re all at one big wedding where everyone is in costume.
But these masks are not who we are. I am–and you are–what lies behind those masks.
Each of us is a spiritual being–a Soul–beyond those masks that stroke our egos. We talk in the language of masks at the cocktail parties we attend (what do you do, what have you done) and list out our successes that make us puff out our chests and feel accomplished. But our true mission, our reason for being here, is to get to know the Truth behind the masks. Our purpose is to sit with our intuitive selves in the Quiet when we aren’t deflecting and get to that core of it all…the Being behind the masks.
And the reason that is so so so SO crucial right now in this time of transformation (post 12-21-12) is because each Soul has unique work that only it can do. If it wastes time trying to pick out It’s costume and figure out who It’s going to be for the party, that is time taken away from finding out who It really is. The Soul needs to play and have fun, to frolic in the ocean waves and the forest. To build a snowman and taste a rainbow. To gently lift off its masks, set them on the shelf for the time being, and begin to understand the Truth about who It is.
In that way, through that waking up, we will transform our world.