The dictionary version of living an “authentic” life means to live with undisputed origin and in a “genuine” manner.
My interpretation of “authentic” and “authenticity” is to live life as YOU; to be unique; to be transparent and true to who you are as an individual and not as a class or a group of individuals with similarities. To be similar is not the same as being unique or original. We live in a social society with technological advances and “spices of life” in all aspects, yet so many aim to be the same. We research and wonder about “cloning”, yet we were designed to be vintage, real, original, and unique in every way. We long for validation, for acceptance, for approval, yet we really don’t need it. We are constantly pushed and pulled and molded to be something of a stretch to our origin, yet we are each unique at creation and highly designed to live freely.
When in high school, as I struggled with bullying, tormenting, and obesity, I prayed and begged and pleaded to just “fit in”. I would wake up every morning asking to be “skinny” when I looked in the mirror. I came home every day in tears and cry in my mother’s arms asking her why I had to stand out, why I had to be different. In that season, during that time, I was hurt. “Authenticity” in my teenager heart was a joke. I am grateful now that God saw through that; He knew what He was doing. My tormenting years in high school, though tough, prepared me and propelled me and tested me for what laid ahead. 13 years later, I am healthy and fit; I am strong – emotionally, mentally, spiritually, and physically; and I am a leader as a lifestyle coach for a debt free, natural health, wellness, and beauty company. I now help others through those trials and I lend a helping hand in any way that I can. Every day, I pray and say “thank you” for my being different, for standing out from the crowd. Life lessons don’t always make sense and aren’t always easy to wade through in the midst of a flooded season. Though they are often a challenge, they are always rewarding in the clear. These days, I have come to realize my own authenticity and I pray for the very same for all.
To conform to the confines of the minds and actions and behaviors and characteristics of a like-world is to live not with honesty, integrity, nor authenticity. Living with authenticity to me is to accept and live with validation every single day and know that I am who I am and I am beautiful the way I am. I am accepted by the One who truly matters and I was designed in his eyes with his own hands, for He knew the life He had made for me, as well as my character, my image, my authenticity, long before I found the Earth. To live with authenticity is to embrace freedom in every facet….and that, to me, is a wonderful life.