It seems as though we have hit another season of “giving something up for the greater good”. With Fat Tuesday, otherwise known as Mardi Gras, there seems to be magic in putting on a mask and allowing yourself one last hoorah before some portion of you has to dedicate to sainthood for 40 days.
According to www.americancatholic.org/features/mardigras/ Mardi Gras literally means "Fat Tuesday" in French. The name comes from the tradition of slaughtering and feasting upon a fattened calf on the last day of Carnival. The day is also known as Shrove Tuesday (from "to shrive," or hear confessions), Pancake Tuesday and fetter Dienstag. The custom of making pancakes comes from the need to use up fat, eggs and dairy before the fasting and abstinence of Lent begins.
So, there you have it. Masks, slaughtering, and fat. It seems a little barbaric. Perhaps that comes from the concept that you can “hide” who you are. It makes sense that anyone would want to remain anonymous on his or hers last night of binging; however, it seems to take away the humanity that could be left in the tradition.
At Passion Provokers, we believe that being truly authentic is the key to real intimacy. We ask people to strip off some of their masks. So there is the big secret, or should I say the big answer, to beginning a journey with yourself and your partner.
It’s a simple yet life-changing decision. It means not allowing yourself to wallow in your Fat Tuesdays, it doesn’t mean binging just to starve for 40 days. It means living in who you are every day of every moment. It requires work, because there is nothing more challenging than being who you truly are and having the confidence to know that whatever it is, it will be “enough”.
I encourage you to not be overwhelmed. Some people work hard so they can party harder. But we invite you to a Bigger Story and an even Better Party. When you allow yourself to live freely in authenticity and vulnerability, things start to change in meaning; masks are suddenly seen as cages as opposed to protection.
We all have masks. In fact, I have a few that I still use. As humans, we have a tendency to rely on them and the idea of losing that portion of our “identity” is like taking away a favorite toy from a child. These masks have become apart of who we are, what we do, and how we function.
It’s quite possible that when you begin the journey of recovery and authenticity that you will feel anger and not know why. Well, it is because you are uncomfortable without your masks, and therefore you feel anger because you feel as though it is something that is being stripped away from you. However, at Passion Provokers, there is no such thing as a “bad” feeling. So, when you feel anger, know that you are doing something right.
Maybe you don’t do the whole lent thing. Or the Mardi Gras thing. But whatever you do, I challenge you to give yourself permission to feel all emotions and to do it from a place of authenticity in your true self.
I know you will feel a sense of freedom that hasn’t been felt in far too long.