Trick or treating is so much fun.  You dress up as anything you want, parade around the block and ring the doorbells of your favorite neighbors, let them ooh and aah over you, then hold out your plastic pumpkin head to be filled with goodies.  What could be any more enticing for a kid?  Especially one with an imagination, craving for sugar, and maybe even a knack for practical jokes.

There are all sorts of reasons people don’t like Halloween, maybe some are even valid. Maybe it was a disappointment to you as a child.  Maybe you have an upsetting memory related to it.  Perhaps your shiny halo just wont allow you to participate in any pagan ritual that is not church sponsored.

We all know that our feelings about things are influenced by our past experiences.  We especially react to childish things; particularly annual events, those with strong memories, and those we perceive as dangerous.  Just remember-   you get to decide now.  With all of the adult facts, you get to make a decision about how you will respond to the invitation to come out and play.

If you choose to skip the festivities, just be aware of why you decide not to join the fun.  Knowing why we do what we do is a big piece of setting us free.

There is a ritual involved with this night that is based entirely on fear.  It has nothing to do with gorey costumes or chainsaws or even vampires that roam the dark night.  Children bring home a stash of candy without daring to taste a bite of it.  No smartie or milk dud sample to fuel the last leg of the journey.  Not even a dum-dum to get the sugar high kicked off.  The candy must be methodically examined by a responsable adult.  It might even be x-rayed if the local hospital is generous enough to provide such a service to the cautious citizens of the community.  Why?  Well because of the razor blades, of course.  Mom has to inspect for signs of poisioning and attempts at impalement.  The interesting thing about this particular practice is that it is irrational and unfounded.  There are no documented cases of “death by chocolate”.  There is no real risk of children being hurt by candy.  They are much more likely to die from contaminated lettuce or undercooked chicken than from razor-laced tootsie rolls.

We all tend to believe the “facts” that are most frightening.

How are your fears dressed up?  Is something scaring you that is not quite as big as it’s shadow?  Why are you taking the precautions that seem to be necessary?  It’s good to know what is going on behind that mask… especially the one you wear yourself.

We wont be meeting Monday, October 31, 2011.  Go out and scare yourself up some fun.  It wont kill you.