Authenticity has been coming up a lot for me lately. In all different conversations, and on many different topics. It seems to be a trigger for many. “They were so FAKE, I only want to be around people that are AUTHENTIC.”
Statements like, “I won’t settle for people in my life not being authentic”.
Hmmm, so what do we mean by this?
For some, authentic means not being superficial. Simple statements “I love hanging out at the beach”, may not be accepted as just that, some may want to know why you like being at the beach, what does it do for you? Some just can’t settle for you enjoying being at the beach, without the “deeper” reason behind it.
Imagine kids outside playing, perhaps with dolls, or in a fort, or kickball, anything at all. They aren’t having deep conversations, but they are authentic in their playing, even if they don’t like all the kids they are playing with.
I had a great conversation with a close friend this week about authenticity and the fear of not being authentic. My friend is so beautiful inside and out, her heart is, well honestly I can’t explain it, except she is amazing. She had an AHA moment about her fashion. She loves to dress up, wear beautiful jewelry and everything matches perfectly, she has a beautiful body and impeccable taste. She always looks put together, her hair is just right, etc.
For some people this isn’t “authentic”, she is “looking the part”, “appropriate”, or worse, overdressed and “who is she trying to impress”. Her earrings, necklaces and bracelets always go together, her shoes are always perfect. Dressing this way makes her comfortable, makes her shine, it is her way of embracing her Goddess. When she goes away she always has lots of luggage or a big bag, because she brings lots of clothes, jewelry, lotions, hair stuff, etc. It is part of who she is.
Others have made fun of her for this and it brings up insecurities and makes her question herself. Her fear was that she was being shallow and materialistic, or even worse inauthentic.
My fear is that she is letting someone else set her standards (makes her wrong) for what makes her comfortable and for what she loves and what is her authenticity.
And then there was the person who thought if they are comfortable and or complacent they aren’t being authentic. As if authentic and complacent are either/or. This judgement we have must stop.
When did a superficial conversation become inauthentic? When did dressing up and feeling into your/our Goddess become materialistic? When did feeling comfortable, content, complacent equal inauthentic?
When did Authentic become the way to shame ourselves and others?
When we comment about someone’s authenticity or lack thereof, we are giving ourselves a little boost at the same time. After all, isn’t that what shaming does? A slam to someone else and the by-product (not always conscious) is we feel a bit better about ourselves. You know how it’s done right? “So and so is so fake, I can’t stand being around that anymore”, said with a bit of sympathy perhaps even compassion, but truly it is a pat on our own back for being so “real”, so much “better” than that other person. So much more evolved and enlightened.
I don’t have the answer to when it started, but I have the answer to when it is to end it. NOW!
In the self-growth world, which I am a part of, growth is hugely important, but to think that if you are comfortable you aren’t authentic is a huge lie. To be different than you were a moment ago as well as a day, week, month year ago doesn’t mean you weren’t authentic then, that thought process is a great way to sabotage yourself and your growth.
As we shift, our thoughts and our beliefs shift, it doesn’t take away our prior authenticity. It actually shows it more powerfully.
Chatting with someone about the weather, or the price of groceries, or a cool new outfit, or a car, doesn’t make you inauthentic, maybe you have nothing more to say at that time. Perhaps you have made a conscious decision not to talk about certain topics because it creates tension and you just want to hang with the person and enjoy their company.
Don’t get so “enlightened” that if it isn’t a deep conversation it is unimportant or inauthentic.
The definition of Authentic is:
-real or genuine : not copied or false
-true and accurate
-made to be or look just like an original
-true to one’s own personality, spirit, or character
Based on the definition, we can’t possibly know when someone else is being authentic, because we are not them. We do not know their truth, we only know ours. Our truths usually include a multitude of feelings and actions, all being authentic in that moment. If we are nervous or fearful, but don’t want others to know so we put on a good face, we are being authentic to our fear of not wanting others to know. Our personality, spirit and character changes moment to moment, the goal is to be true to them as they change. That is authentic.
Allowing for the changes is what makes us authentic, fearing the changes makes us authentic, pulling back makes us authentic, going forward makes us authentic.
Let’s stop shaming ourselves and others in the name of authenticity, starting NOW!