I’ve realized that authenticity is the first step to true spirituality. Since I want to write about spirituality, what this means to me, and my experiences, I figure this is a good place to start!
Yes, authenticity is being genuine, telling the truth & saying what you mean, but it also involves integrity in all areas of one’s life and the ability to be true to one’s REAL self.
There are obvious situations in life where, to be honest and authentic requires a great deal of strength and courage in the midst of fear, especially when it involves the opinions of others.
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I don’t pretend that I’m there yet. Like most of us I want to give in to my fears and take the easy route countless times in a day, to not speak the truth because you are afraid of what someone’s response might be or what they may think of you, say or do.
Are you a be-er or a do-er?
Particularly in the western world, we get so caught up in ‘doing’ and the myriad of roles we think we have to play. We’ve been taught that in order to be accepted and loved, we have to do things. So we don’t know how to just be.
We don’t realize in our hearts that if we’re loved for something we’re doing, then we’re not really being loved at all. That person might be loving what we do for them or how we make them feel, but they are not really loving US.
The Webs We Weave
We all have wounds and distorted beliefs about our own selves. Authenticity is looking at ourselves with growing awareness & sorting through these ‘untruths’ that’ve held us back from being who we truly are.
When we take the time to strip this away, we get back in touch with the individual self we were ultimately created to be.
Going there takes courage and perseverance and this is such a necessary step along the journey towards wholeness and spiritual health.
The Masks We Wear
Once we start stripping back these layers – how we think we should behave, what everyone expects of us, what society expects of us – the masks we wear even to ourselves, then automatically we’ll start to see and feel who we really are.
We tend to define ourselves by these created parts of ourselves – the parts that are there to make us feel a bit more powerful and in control, or a bit more desirable, stronger, or whatever it is that we feel we’re missing within ourselves, so we hold onto them for dear life!
New Age circles talk about ‘finding your true self’, but I’ve found that if you ‘go looking’ as if it’s something you need to ‘find’, all you’ll find is another type of mask.
Personally, I’ve found that as I’ve let go of some of the roles, the obligations, the pressures to be a certain way, the ways of being that make others more comfortable, or that feel safer and more acceptable somehow, that I automatically start to feel more of my real self.
I’m not there yet, and I’m still a chronic ‘doer’, but feeling more of the real me feels wonderful, and requires a lot less energy!
I still occasionally ask myself the question:
How can I get more real & in truth with myself and move more towards living a life that is more in alignment with who I REALLY am?
Want more spiritual inspiration?
“Faith is the power to stand up to the madness and chaos of the physical world while holding the position that nothing external has any authority over what heaven has in mind for you...” ~ Caroline Myss
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” ~ Marianne Williamson/Nelson Mandela