“We have to dare to be ourselves, however frightening or strange that self may prove to be.” ~ May Sarton
Finding the authentic self, that endless search for the true/false identity, erodes the soul and has the propensity to make us old and confused.
I have been told I’ve lost it, and I need to find it. I have heard it is elusive and hides in a skin I am not comfortable with. I have read that I need to “peel the onion,” cry, and then it will show up. Perhaps, but I gotta tell ya—my “authentic self” seems to make an appearance often, and it isn’t always pretty.
We don’t have just one authentic self, nor do we have a false self. All we have is a self (which is more than enough). I don’t want it twisted.
This “self “ dons all kinds of hats with many descriptions, accusations, glorifications and bears many criticisms, yet it goes on. It makes its debut at birth—beautifully violent, miraculously alive, and helplessly discontent, and then it’s told how to feel, how to be, and how think and breathe properly—even when we’ve known how since birth.
It seems to me, when we are naturally rebellious and curious, true to our bones, steadfast in our convictions, we are authentic. And as we mature and gain knowledge, our truth will change. It changes with each moment, each day, each passing season and will change as warranted with new information—because the raw truth is transient, just as nature is. And in its entirety, nature is forever renewing and creating a new “authentic” truth.
Are we not all a part of that?
As we change, others dispute us, question our resolve, but the life we hold has so many truths, we can choose just which one or ones we want to be.
“The privilege of a lifetime is to become who you truly are.” ~ C.G. Jung
It goes like this:
No matter what emotional state you are in the moment, you are you. If you are putting airs, you are being authentically asinine. If you are wearing a smile when you feel like crap, you are being authentically fake.
When you are upset , you are the real you. When you are happy, you are the real you. When you PMS-ing, you are the real you. When you are nostalgic, you are the real you.
Get the pattern?
It doesn’t make sense to try and pigeon hole anyone by assessing their momentary be-ing. That’s where we lose the reality of our own true nature—judgment works against us not for us. What we are in the moment is all we are. Period. The highs and the lows take us to different places all the time and alter our internal experiences. Once we have an “experience,” there is no turning back—ever.
Maybe I am just tired of reading and hearing the expression, “Be your authentic self.”
What works for one doesn’t always work for another. There is no “one size fits all” so instead I roll with, “Embrace what feels glorious, what kindles the fire and what makes you true inside out.” Because the truth lies inside and no one has the ability to instill it or take it away. That is our power, our real, bona fide authentic power.
“Only the truth of who you are, if realized, will set you free.” ~ Eckhart Tolle
Thanks to Eckhart for the above affirmation. That is about as “authentic” as it gets.
Author: Debbie Lynn
Editor: Catherine Monkman
Photo: Misty Pittman/Unsplash