Halloween was my least favorite holiday– every year. I dreaded it.

I think it started when I was 5 when my mother brought my to my class party and I cried profusely and wanted to go home. I didn’t like the costumes. They scared me. It wasn’t until recently that I learned that empathic people are highly sensitive to scary images. It can feel like an assault to our systems. I never like being frightened. Even now, I avoid scary movies and gruesome scenes on TV. Their images twist into my cell’s wiring in ways that leave me unsettled for days.

As I got older, Halloween still haunted me. I could never find a costume that “fit” me. I wanted to hide the way I felt. Fat. A social outcast. Halloween became another opportunity for my rejection to be spotlighted with tight clothing that clung to the parts of me I desperately wanted to ignore. I never looked cute or sexy. Or I never felt that way.

Of course, back then I didn’t realize that a costume couldn’t make me feel something or not. That loving myself was not dependent on how well an outfit fit me. No clothes, costumes or anything can pretend for you. If there’s a painful thought lurking in there, a little Halloween makeup won’t cover it.

I remember one of the first things that I enjoyed doing once I lost weight was dress up.  Like I had finally granted myself permission to enjoy my body.  I loved wearing things that had always been out of reach for me before.  But I was still grasping for something outside of me for validation. And the high didn’t last long.

Because again, feeling good is not about what you put out to the world— but all in how you dress your insides.  And what costume you wear– really doesn’t matter as long as you love your you in the part of you that needs no costume.  And that my fabulous beings, is how I made peace with Halloween once and for all.