For a holiday with such vague roots, Halloween has become a huge tradition. It brings us together and erases our differences. Yet most folks don’t know or care what it celebrates! No matter. It’s still an important holiday for us. We get to feel anticipation and display our creativity. We can plan with, and give to, others. (And, let’s be honest; we just might eat some candy!) And if you celebrate All Saints Day or honor your departed loved ones, you probably still gather together with others. That’s why we really need Halloween. Sharing a common focus is how we bond. And there’s nothing more bonding that moving through fear and emerging triumphant…with others! Add humor to that mix and you have a formula for lasting shared memories. What could be better than that?
Halloween provides a refreshing break. For one day, we set aside our divisions to focus on fear and fun; two elements meant to be shared! Think about it. Have you ever ridden a roller coaster, gone trick or treating, or explored a “haunted house” by yourself? We may like the adrenaline rush of danger, but we’re wired for survival…and that means being connected to other people. (We are herd animals, after all!) When we test our limits with others, that shared experience creates a bond. And that shared support helps us confront other fearful things in our lives.
It’s not easy to face our fears, but it’s necessary if you want to create a richly satisfying life. The key is to expand your experiences AND create a safe environment for yourself. That means inviting others to join and support you. Don’t wait for a fearful event to make connections. Simply asking someone to join you in a new experience can create a bond. And remember that shared laughter is a powerful bonding agent too!