“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.” ~Brené Brown
One of the hardest realizations that I have had in life was when I figured out I was fake. That I was living a lie for many that I knew, just to play the game that so many do. I was lost somewhere between reality and make-believe. Rarely showing my true face to thee outside world or even myself. Caught up in beliefs that I was fed and never questioning, never searching for my own convictions. I lived this way all through my 20’s, up until a few years ago, 14 years in total.
When you are inside the box you can’t see thee entire picture. You are “fitting in” and “going with the flow”! When a certain way is all you’ve know since childhood, once you come into adulthood, why would it be any different. It was not until people turned on us and we were faced with few options that we finally left this life we’d known. Those who had betrayed and hurt us deeply, showed the hypocrisy of who they really are. The conflict was just too hard on our family. (You can read more about that here: My Journey In Faith)
“A lot of the conflict you have in your life exists simply because you’re not living in alignment; you’re not be being true to yourself…Live authentically. Why would you continue to compromise something that’s beautiful to create something that is fake?” ~Steve Maraboli
Through this difficult and sad journey I found a great gift. Among the moments of despair and feelings of utter loss, I figured out who I really am. So many “ah ha” moments that brought perspective to me. In a way it was as if a veil was lifted and I could look at myself and the world through different eyes. At first it was scary, like feeling lost. But, I soon learned that I was changing. I was shedding the pretender, the loathsome person I had been. I was gaining strength and knowledge about who I truly am and what I am capable of, outside of those that held me back.
My take away and also my advice for others is this- always be true to yourself. Even if it goes against the grain and forces you to break ties with people you’ve known or a way of life you’ve always walked. Question more and follow less. Don’t make choices based on what has always been, but on your own convictions, faith and what is right for you. Most of all live unapologetically you!
“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”