“Authenticity” and “True Self” are the new “buzz words” on social media and in just about every personal development book. Everyone seems to be talking about being authentic!
These are not new concepts however – people have simply awakening more to living consciously over the past few years.
But what does being authentic really mean?
Does this mean that to be living as my authentic & true self I should no longer wear make-up, sport only my natural hair color or start splashing my whole life for all to see on social media?
The afore mentioned all focus on the external. Being authentic to me, is not an external thing at all.
Authenticity is an internal reality that we start living externally without any effort once we turn inward and find out who we really and truly are, and in fact have always been since birth, but which we have disconnected from and hidden either consciously or sub-consciously due to our programming from birth around what and who the world expects us to be, or would be acceptable to other people and the world.
Here are a few ways that you can see how you stack up regarding showing up in this world as your true, authentic self:
What is the one thing people don’t know about you? Ask yourself what are the real reasons why you are not sharing this with people. Whether it be that you are ashamed of it, you think people won’t understand it, or it will be perceived as corny perhaps. Those are the limiting beliefs you’ve been programmed with that need to heal and be re-programmed, for you to start showing up more authentically. Until YOU embrace them and love these things about yourself, you will never believe that the world can. And the reality is once you’ve embraced and loved these things about yourself, you actually won’t care anyore whether the world or anyone else accepts and loves them or not.
Are there times that you keep quiet or don’t do something because you believe it won’t be accepted or received well? For example, a friend of yours that you had an argument with and are currently not on speaking terms with, has their birthday. You decide not to call them or message them to wish them a happy birthday because “we are not on speaking terms”. But who you really are is someone who values the day that someone was born as a very special occasion. Ask yourself this. What are the real reasons you are not calling them to wish them happy birthday? Is it because of pride? Or perhaps because you believe they won’t want to hear from you? These are all thoughts and fears that stem from our ego, not from our true authentic selves. Ask yourself what you would do if these thoughts and fears were not present. What would the REAL you really want to do without fear, which would really be you being true to yourself? Doing that in spite of your thoughts and fears, is being authentic and being your true self. Whether it is received well or not, YOU did what the TRUE YOU would really desire to do and be in this situation.
One of my biggest personal struggles was due to my own programming and limiting beliefs that were formed from my childhood. I hid a true part of myself for many years. And being in a very corporate entrepreneurs world for many years of my life, only perpetuated this limiting belief and fear and kept me from being my true authentic self for many years.
See, the one part of my authentic self that I hid for most of my life, was that I have a very small heart…. it’s kind of a bit of a “softy” or a “sissy” if the world had to brand it. From a very young age, I always knew that I had the ability to genuinely and deeply love and care about people very easily and very quickly. But my ego told me that this is a weakness, and a threat, because by being THAT “me” people would walk over me and I would get hurt. And guess what….. because I had that belief, I would continuously perpetuate that belief by attracting experiences where I WOULD GET HURT. At times even self sabotaging situations so that they would have this outcome. This is the ego’s way of confirming this limiting belief to us in order to keep us in the non authentic self state.
I remember a specific incident on the bus with my friends when I was in high school. An oldish lady got on at one of the stops. My friends were making fun of how she was dressed and of her appearance, and I remember just feeling this tremendous pull from my heart towards her. It was a pure and genuine caring about and love for this lady that I knew was not my own but almost as if I could feel God’s love for this woman, although I did not even know her at all. I remember just thinking and forcing it away. I couldn’t tell anyone because even to me it was “weird”, so how would they then perceive or understand it if I shared it with them?
How warped it is to believe that what truly is a gift to be able to love and care for people unconditionally, deeply and purely for who they are and who God sees them to be, is a weakness? And what world do we live in where loving people deeply and unconditionally is something to feel “ashamed” of or to “fear”?
It took many years of personal growth and self discovery for me to re-program myself and to love this part of myself. Let alone to start showing it to other people. But the freedom that came with just being me, is priceless! It is not only liberating, it is healing both to me and to this world, because love is really the catalyst to what heals us all. And the truth is, not being who you really are, and trying to be what you think the world would find acceptable or expects you to be, is EXHAUSTING!
So I bet you are wondering, how showing this authentic true self side of me has worked out for me?
Truth is, no, not everyone finds this side of me acceptable or enduring all the time. In fact it scares some people when someone has the ability to love them truly, deeply and unconditionally without them having to earn it and in spite of themselves. But these are their own fears and limiting beliefs that they project outward that are being triggered and which needs to heal in them. It is actually something they desire to heal in them but until they explore it and turn inward, their ego just tells them that this kind of love and care is a threat somehow.
What I have learned though, is that even in these instances where some people don’t like the kind of love I have to offer and give, it always still plants a seed in them that if they take the time to explore it, helps them to grow and heal on many levels as well. Their own dislike of the way I love, does not trigger any insecurities or questions in me about who I truly am and whether it’s okay for me to be my authentic self anymore. “That’s their stuff, not mine” is what I always remember, and all I offer besides my true self, is to lift them up in prayer for them to receive awakening and healing from their own limiting beliefs and fears.
The most powerful thing I’ve learned, is that it is okay if not everyone likes or understands me, because I like and understand me.
The kind of love I’ve been gifted with to give and feel for others is my strength, not my weakness. And the world needs it. Whether they know it and like it or not. I will never again hide it or go back to hardening my heart as the ego kept telling me was the “safe” route to take. I listen to my spirit that confirms that this is the most beautiful part of me and a gift that I am meant to share, not hide. It will always heal and never harm.
Being authentic and your true self, is what this world truly needs. Therein lies the qualities is unique to only YOU, a missing piece of the puzzle that this world needs to awaken and to heal. It is not a selfish choice to be the real you. It is a self honoring choice to be who God truly made you to be, so that you can live out your purpose in this world. No matter who agrees with it and who doesn’t.
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Much love and blessings,