I was asked by Alison to expand on what living an authentic life is and means to me. For some reason putting my thoughts down on paper (Well online paper, but still…) on this topic is hard. It’s so simple and yet so lengthy. Please bear with me as I attempt to open the doors to what’s swimming about in my head!
It’s a nine letter word. One little word. But it’s by far one of the most meaningful words in the english language. Authenticity is honesty.
I feel as though society today is becoming less and less comfortable with true honesty. Honesty is prized when it benefits you and paints a pretty picture of you. We as a society don’t like being vulnerable. We don’t like letting people see us without our masks on.
Everyone at some point in their life puts on a mask for various reasons. But is this honest?
When we put on a mask not only are we being dishonest, we are denying ourselves the opportunity to open ourselves to growth and possibly a chance to help someone else.
We learn and grow by not just our experiences but those of others. Mothers are a wonderful example.
I have a daughter and I have learned more from other mothers than I ever would have on my own. I did this by removing the mask of confidence at times and allowing others to see that I really wasn’t sure what I was doing. Others recognized that and removed theirs as well to let me see that it’s ok to not have all the answers. And sometimes they have an answer and can share and help me.
Other times I find that someone else removes a mask and I recognize something that I have felt or experienced myself. I am able to reach out and share my experience and hopefully lift someone up. This is one of the best feelings in the world.
We also hide things from ourselves at times. At times we wear a mask for us. We let emotions such as anger, guilt or shame scare us into being dishonest. When we do this we once again deny the chance to change and grow. To become a better version of ourselves.
While I don’t believe that sitting and trash talking ourselves is the answer, I do think that we need to acknowledge our faults and make an honest and full effort in improving.
I myself am impulsive.
I am bossy.
I am cruel when angry.
I am flighty.
I can change.
When we’re honest with ourselves and others we get to know one another as God created us. As we were intended to be. As our true selves.
An authentic life is an honest one. It’s being vulnerable (no matter how uncomfortable it is) with people around me. It’s accepting that I am a flawed person as is everyone else. It’s connecting with people genuinely. It’s removing the mask.