The book of Esther is full of mystique...
The plots have tremendous depth... and each of the characters wear different “masks” or “costumes” depending on who they are meant to portray at any given time.
The way each person “shows up” to the world, is very often different than who they actually are.
Some of the more obvious scenes ...
Achashverosh showed up drunk to his party in the “costume” of the Kohein Gadol, trying to present himself as powerful to his people, when really, he was just a puppet.
The Jews showed up in “costume” to the party too. They dressed like the other citizens of Shushan, trying to show that they had assimilated and effectively blended into society, each one “masking” their true identity. They wore “masks” of smiles on their faces, drinking with the king, who actually intended to humiliate them (and would eventually want to kill them).
Achashverosh ordered Vashti to remove her “costume”, to try and strip her of dignity.
An innocent Jewish girl forced to join the ball for perspective queens, wore the “mask” of Esther, but her real identity was Hadasah. She had no personal desire to be the queen, but was convinced that this “mask” would eventually help her people (which turned out to be an understatement).
Mordechai wore a “mask”, hiding his personal relationship with Esther (cousin or uncle or husband… lots of opinions).
Haman, a manipulative and cunning advisor had many “masks” depending on who he was interacting with. Lots of different faces.
When Mordechai heard of Haman’s decree, endorsed by Achashverosh, he “dressed up” in sackcloth, the clothing of mourning.
Esther knew that her people were in trouble, so she donned the “mask” of the queen. Had she failed, she could have been killed like Vashti.
Esther devised a plan to remove Haman’s “mask” in front of Achashverosh.
In the final “costume change” turn-of-events, after Haman’s intentions were revealed, Mordechai was paraded in royal costume and Haman was wearing garbage.
In one of the final acts, Haman was revealed as himself, hanging from the very gallows that he set up to kill Mordechai.
Each year on Purim, we celebrate this epic win by dressing up.
Showing up in costume can remind us to introspect, and notice the more blatant inconsistencies between our beliefs and the way we live our lives. Do we spend much of our lives in “masks” that are in dissonance with our true “self”? Or are we playing the lead role in a performance we can be truly proud of?
We all have different parts that can mask who we really are.
By identifying and getting to know the different parts of ourselves, and how they interact with our true “self” and our core values, we may create our own “costumes” to fit the roles we cast ourselves in, but this will be methodical, authentic, and truly represent the roles that we want to cast ourselves in… in our own epic stories.
Getting to know our true “self” allows us to live with intention, in order to achieve our ultimate performance in this world.
This Adar, how will you show up for your epic performance?