“Authenticity is a collection of choices that we have to make every day. It’s about the choice to show up and be real. The choice to be honest. The choice to let our true selves be seen.”
― Brene Brown, The Gifts of Imperfection
I am no longer afraid to be authentic.
It took a long time to get to this place…
Authentic in a nice way, I always try to be nice.
There are those who hide sheer meanness behind the guise of being authentic. You know the ones. Everybody knows at least one person who acts sweet to one’s face but cannot keep a confidence. Or the individual who is pious but will be first one to stab you in the back. Then there are those who are so perfect that they are judgmental towards everyone. Still others who are so authentic that one had better not disagree with their viewpoints, or risk wrath and an unkind label or three. I just love the authentic people who will go out to eat and then make a big fuss about something inconsequential so they can get out of paying for the food.
That is not the kind of authentic I am addressing.
Well, maybe those examples are the opposite of authentic.
“What it means to be authentic:
– to be more concerned with truth than opinions
– to be sincere and not pretend
– to be free from hypocrisy: “walk your talk”
– to know who you are and to be that person
– to not fear others seeing your vulnerabilities
– being confident to walk away from situations where you can’t be yourself
– being awake to your own feelings
– being free from others’ opinions of you
– accepting and loving yourself”
― Sue Fitzmaurice
Truth: Truth starts out by telling the truth. The opposite of truth is lie. Pretty straightforward. Whitewashing or evasion are not truth. I do not consider an opinion truth unless backed by research.
Sincerity: Pretending is not sincerity, neither is pretense. My grandma always said “Honesty is the best policy.”
Hypocrisy: I consider hypocrites to be untrustworthy. Say you’re going to call, call. Make plans, keep them. Talk the talk, walk the walk. Don’t pee on my head and tell me it’s raining. Don’t blow smoke up my ass and tell me there’s a forest fire. I can see through excuses. Better to go back to numbers one and two and tell the truth sincerely. Perhaps include an apology. Wow, that made me feel better…
Be You / Be Me: This one is sometimes difficult. To totally be Me, I had to come to the conclusion that I preferred to feel good about myself than agonize over what other people thought of me. It took work, tears, and sometimes I had to remind myself that I made that decision. Doubts still creep in at times. Living authentically as myself is the only way I can live now. It has become second nature. It feels amazing!
“How would your life be different if…You approached all relationships with authenticity and honesty? Let today be the day…You dedicate yourself to building relationships on the solid foundation of truth and authenticity.”
― Steve Maraboli, Life, the Truth, and Being Free
Be Vulnerable: It is completely okay to let others know who I truly am- without fear. If they do not like it, they were not meant to be in my life. Someday I will stumble upon another who will honor my vulnerability.
“Of all individuals, the hated, the shunned, and the peculiar are arguably most themselves. They wear no masks whatsoever in order to be accepted and liked; they do seem most guarded, but only by their own hands: as compared to the populace, they are naked.”
― Criss Jami, Healology
Grief, mourning, blogging, sharing feelings, talking, meeting new people, developing relationships, all require a level of vulnerability that many find uncomfortable.
“YOU HAVE TO BE STRONG ENOUGH TO BE WEAK Allow yourself to feel whatever you are feeling. Notice any labels you attach to crying or feeling vulnerable. Let go of the labels. Just feel what you are feeling, all the while cultivating moment-to-moment awareness, riding the waves of “up” and “down,” “good” and “bad,” “weak” and “strong,” until you see that they are all inadequate to fully describe your experience. Be with the experience itself. Trust in your deepest strength of all: to be present, to be wakeful.”
― Jon Kabat-Zinn, Wherever You Go, There You Are: Mindfulness Meditation in Everyday Life
Walk Away: I am no longer afraid to walk away. I used to fear saying goodbye. I never said it. Never. Always found a substitute. I had people in my life who did not belong there. Individuals who were not true friends, those who abandoned me after Larry’s death, some who never return calls unless it will benefit them in some way. I am done with inauthentic people.
Awaken: I have awakened from my haze of wanting to please others more than myself. Living my life for others and not me. Giving more than I receive. Always visiting and never visited.
However, I am open.
Open to others who are willing to give 150% to my 150%.
My doors are closed to those who take and are not willing to give in return.
I have awakened to my feelings
all of them.
“Highly sensitive people are too often perceived as weaklings or damaged goods. To feel intensely is not a symptom of weakness, it is the trademark of the truly alive and compassionate. It is not the empath who is broken, it is society that has become dysfunctional and emotionally disabled. There is no shame in expressing your authentic feelings. Those who are at times described as being a ‘hot mess’ or having ‘too many issues’ are the very fabric of what keeps the dream alive for a more caring, humane world. Never be ashamed to let your tears shine a light in this world.”
― Anthon St. Maarten
Other’s Opinions: At the end of the day I have to sleep with myself.
Accepting and Loving Oneself:
“We are not here to fit in, be well balanced, or provide exempla for others. We are here to be eccentric, different, perhaps strange, perhaps merely to add our small piece, our little clunky, chunky selves, to the great mosaic of being. As the gods intended, we are here to become more and more ourselves.”
― James Hollis, What Matters Most: Living a More Considered Life
But after the hyperbole and researched truths, I have found the most effective way to living in a state of authenticity has been my hardest lesson of all:
I have become most authentic by thinking first with my heart.
XO Lisa ❤️