Trick or Treat

(This blog was originally published by Dan Leadbetter on October 26, 2015)

As a kid, I’ve always liked Halloween. I loved the crispness in the air, all the fun costumes and decorations that started showing up in the stores in early September, and the anticipation of going out in full regalia to beg for candy. Putting on the costume was one of the my favorite things because for one night each year, I could be whoever I wanted.  Of course my friends were quick to chime in on who they thought I should be for the 31st. “Dude, you should totally go as Batman!” “No way man, he really needs to be the Creature from the Black Lagoon!” “No, I got it. He needs to be Ponch from CHiPs!”  While the suggestions were all welcome and the ideas entertained, I usually ended up being what I wanted to be.

As  I got older, it seemed like the suggestions on who I “should” be began to be expressed more often. Soon, I found myself not trusting my intuition and began trying to be the person everyone else wanted me to be. So I quickly adopted the role of the “happy care-free funny guy”.  Not that it was an entirely bad thing, because for the most part, I was pretty happy most of the time. But I soon discovered that when I was sad, having a bad day, or didn’t show up the way I thought people were expecting me to, I felt compelled to “put on the mask”, and not let people know what was real for me, because I thought I would be rejected.

I remember when I went through a training (similar to our Awaken Training), I found out that people didn’t want Dan Leadbetter “The Character”, they wanted Dan Leadbetter “Real Human Being; Warts and all”.  I remember feeling such a sense of relief that I didn’t have to “act” or “become” anyone else but me, and that people really wanted to know/see everything that I was: Happy, Sad, Funny, Insightful, Sensitive, and Deep. The Interesting this is, I’m stilla “happy care-free funny guy”, but now it’s not used as a defense mechanism, it’s just a natural outpouring of my personality.

My prayer for you as we approach Halloween, is to just be yourself this year. Be the you that is the reflection of God’s personality that can only be expressed through you.