Authenticity is a buzz word nowadays. We hear, see it and speak about it all the time. At least I know I do and the circle of people around me do too.
I did a little digging into the word. Webster defines it as: true to one’s own personality, spirit, or character.
Greek origin of the word is authentikós: original, primary, genuine.
My definition: being present to the truth of who you are in the moment.
Key phrase being “in the moment”. You are forever changing. Who you have been for years may no longer be you in the moment.
As much as we want to sugar coat this buzz word of authenticity, it’s not always flowers and roses and sexy dresses.
There are days when you’re lacing up hikers and filling up your backpack with survival of the fittest gear to get you to the other side.
A high price is paid for living in this way. Yet the outcomes are indeed priceless.
To understand authenticity, you’ve got to know yourself. Stripped free from the should’s and have to’s and ought to’s and mama said it’s best to’s.
Then stand in the power of your truth.
It’s revealing, vulnerable, and can feel as if you are a hyper realistic nude painting displayed in the grand entrance of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Some will love you, other’s won’t. You’ll have gawkers, gaspers, admirers, lovers, imitators, loathers and passerby’s who don’t even turn an eye.
Let’s get real with the down and dirty of being authentic.
Friends come and go. I’ve had loooong lasting friendships where I thought we’d be rockin’ them rocking chairs Cracker Barrel style. Yet the path of authenticity nudged me to let go of the ones that just didn’t jive with the life I wanted to create. And with some I wasn’t being treated with love, respect and just great friendedness. (yes, I just made up that word.) Easy to do – hell no. Worth it – absolutely and mighty grateful for the connection and the disconnection.
Get ready for Judgement. You’re always going to be judged no matter what. Get over it. Once you do, you have the freedom to just be.
Family may just not get you. Every single person in your life, especially your family has a perception and picture of you. They see you through their own belief systems and many times want you to be a certain way. When you don’t conform to their picture of you, it can send them into a tizzy. If you were used as the scapegoat growing up and finally learn to say no to the drama and stand up for yourself, that can be a blow in the face to them. Don’t try to get them to understand you. Live by example, it speaks louder than words.
Relationships and Love can shift. Authenticity has cost me my marriage. The path of my heart led elsewhere and listening to that quiet voice was a tough decision I grappled with for years. Grief, sadness, pain – oh fo’ sho’! Now on the other side, I am deeply humbled for the journey, lessons learned and uber ecstatic in creating anew.
You’ve got to LOVE both. The dark and light sides of this journey. And be willing to accept that a path of light will uncover the dark.
So yea, you lose a couple peeps here and there, your job or maybe what you thought you had created in business is no longer authentic and you want to go in a totally new direction. Pay the price of loss.
The gain will remain in your heart.
I’d love to hear from you. What challenges have you experienced from being authentic? What have you gained from being true to you?
In gratitude for being on this journey with you.