Of course, as we grow older, we are taught to put that authenticity/enthusiasm away and adapt to what is considered to be “normal” to society. This isn’t a discussion about social graces or manners or integrity or ethics. What I’m talking about is the truth of who I am truly am - the characteristics, behaviors, passions and visions that are uniquely me . . . the true inner me. Without the masks of necessity, the hiding and lurking that living in society requires to function
This is motivating me to begin to be who I truly am and to discover my full potential. And to learn to work within the world around me without abandoning my authentic self. I may not speak my opinions or passions, but that doesn’t change the fact that I possess them.
It is very important that youthful authenticity and truth make up the qualities that help make me who I truly am. This is the true self - living authentically - . . . making time for things I love, enjoy and project who I am. It does require at times leaving the expectations of others behind and moving toward what I feel is the most worthwhile.
I need to become self-focused in a healthy way, doing what you know is best for you, regardless of the opinions of others - even the opinions of close friends and family. Living authentically means that I begin to make choices without fear, trusting in my soul's wisdom. Denying my unique truth can lead to feelings of failure and dissatisfaction because I am no longer acknowledging your true self. In living in truth, there are no pretenses. Everything I do will reflect the choices I make. That in itself is a MAJOR challenge.
When I am unsure who the authentic me truly is, I need again to look inward and ask myself the same question I ask my friend with the serious illness: “Where am I?” This mean I need to look again at what my purpose, values, and needs are. I need to honor my strengths and try not to fall into the trap of being guided by what others expect of you. It’s a journey that is going to allow me to rediscover my passions of new things, and sticking with those things that stir my soul. I found a quote that I absolutely love:
“If you bring forth what is within you, what you bring forth will save you. If you do not bring forth what is within you, what you do not bring forth will destroy you.”The Gospel of St. Thomas Logian
However - don't think I'm going to let you off the hook!(again, watch out friends)
Unless you are willing to look into yourself, you will miss the opportunity to know the real you—a life spent, not in living, but in keeping your feelings, desires and dreams at bay. If you look into yourself, you will confront your own, ‘enemy in the jungle.’ Unless you actively seek personal change through the hard work of introspection, you will, to some degree, have lived a non-authentic life and have been, to some degree, only a shadow of your true self. This, then, is your greatest personal tragedy.
And last, for this post, Let me leave you with a quote that I have been dealing with for several days. It really is an amazing challenge/caution.
"The essential aims of life are present naturally in every person. In everyone there is some longing for humanity's rightful dignity, for moral integrity, for free expression of being and a sense of transcendence over the world of existence. Yet, at the same time, each person is capable, to a greater or lesser degree, of coming to terms with living within the lie. Each person somehow succumbs to a profane trivialization of his or her inherent humanity, and to utilitarianism. In everyone there is some willingness to merge with the anonymous crowd and to flow comfortably along with it down the river of pseudo-life. This is much more than a simple conflict between two identities. It is something far worse: it is a challenge to the very notion of identity itself."- Vaclav Havel, "The Power of the Powerless"