Some of us grew up learning that pleasing others and playing by their rules kept the peace. But it also kept us weighted down and unable to touch our truth. Perhaps with time we learned how to be more honest with ourselves and others, to meet our own needs and not to need the approval of others to get through our days. If we were able to grow out of that phase of living through and for others, we then began to dream our own dreams, longed to be our own person and live the life we hoped for that has healthy intentions, inner peace and compassion of self and others. We have learned that we wish to be authentic with ourselves and others and have this show in our lives.
For some living authentically means taking some risks. Sometimes this means moving, job changes, relationship changes, going back to school, lifestyle changes….you get the picture. And when we make these types of changes, it is not uncommon to receive feedback, often unsolicited, from those who are put off or put out by our changes. They may feel judged. They may feel you are making a huge mistake. They may not understand.
But if we have made these changes and decisions based on much consideration and they are in alignment and in harmony with all that is important to us, we are living authentically. It does not matter what others think. It does not matter if they agree. If we have that heart assurance that our decisions are right for us…then we are on the right path.This does not mean that it will be easy. Actually, trying to live authentically is often met with many challenges, and not only from others in our lives. It means breaking out of our comfort zone, changing our patterns and habits, asking ourselves questions that run deep and dredge up truth that must be faced and sometimes dealt with. But every effort we make to life this life of authenticity rewards us in some way with a life filled with delight, honesty, love, and peace.
And honesty is a big piece of the authenticity equation. The more we are honest with ourselves and others, the more our life begins to look like the life we want to live. But for some of us, it is hard to define our truth. It is buried deep beneath layers of people pleasing, layers of not drawing attention to ourselves or layers of self-deception of some kind. We can also come up with great excuses for not facing our truth; we don't have the time or the skills. Life is so busy after all! But that is the point! Part of the busy-ness of our lives is because we are avoiding the fact that we are not living authentically. This distraction buffers our disappointment or our discomfort.
To find our truth and to find what we need to do or not do in order to live an authentic life we must quiet down, create space for the discovery, make time to find our questions and our answers. Tuning in to who we really are, not our self assigned labels or what others think of us is the beginning of the breakthrough. We will begin to define what we stand for, how we feel, what we believe in…all without pretense or misunderstanding. We will begin to feel passion for life, self-respect and dignity, and a sense of inner truth. And as an added bonus, we will begin to attract people into our life who resonate with our authenticity. People who support our growth and hold love for us in their hearts.
What this means is that we do not have to go it alone. We discover the interconnectedness of us all. We share more than we admit we do. We are able to receive and give freely without keeping tabs or feeling needy. It is life affirming when we find ourselves in the company of someone else striving to live their life authentically as well.
To live life authentically, one must be willing to take the time needed to transform, be willing to take big leaps of faith and small steps - one at a time and be willing to live in the moment, embracing the gifts and lessons as they unfold. Living authentically is investing in a rich life, filled with what we desire, believe in and find meaning in…and it is always worth it!
I am off for the weekend, but will be back again on Monday. Meanwhile, feel free to share with us some of the changes you have made to live an authentic life.
Blessings ~ Lisa
©COPYRIGHT 2012 Lisa Meade