Everywhere I look and everything I read these days is about living life authentically. I love this, I really do, and it’s a work in progress for me everyday. In fact it’s something I strive to be, authentic that is.
But where it gets hazy is being authentic sometimes and being authentic all the time?
Are we supposed to share everything in the name of being “authentic”? What if being authentic to yourself means hurting other people? Maybe we just share what is acceptable to share… but is that being authentic? I don’t believe so.
Let’s say for example most facets of your life are actually going real well! Your career is florishing, the boss is recognizing you now, and you can feel you are on the verge of a raise! You love your house and where you are living too.
But there’s this one that is amiss… your marriage is in shambles, your debt is piling up to your eyeballs, or maybe you have a deep dark secret that no one you associate with or love for that matter would ever know, but it haunts you daily, then what??
Being authentic surely can’t mean spilling the beans of your personal life to people for the sake of being authentic right? No of course not, you share with others who you can be vulnerable with, so they can sit with you in your “stuff” all the while being supportive.
What if those are the very people you are most afraid to be naked with?
I have learned that vulnerability is a courageous exploration within the self, rather than a sign of weakness as the ego likes to believe. I agree with this, and I want to believe it within my bones.
But I find myself asking “With who then can I share?”
Is it the ego, my ego, that has me so pent up that I can’t actually make the decision to share my secret with someone?
Have you ever gotten to the point where you get tired of hearing yourself complain?
That voice that sarcastically shouts, “Oh for goodness sakes just make a decision and finally do something or shut up about it already”?
(I hate that voice).
My naked truth is, I see what happened. I see what I’ve created, and I want to go back. I want a re-do. I need more time to think, to process “why”. The sad and oh so unfortunate part though is that I can’t.
So now I am left to deal with this situation I had both hands in creating. And damn that’s hard… when a new decision must be made.
On the right hand, there is a quick fix but will have lasting permanent results, that could be bad or good. On the left hand, the other decision requires a complete and total release of the emotional and mental blocks, resulting in a different yet seemingly equivalent difficult path, that could turn out to be good.
My naked truth stands behind the shadow of myself. It’s fear perches itself in the pain and disappointment of others. Sometimes it feels like we would rather feel pain and disappointment in ourselves than bring that upon others. This is the part where I begin to wonder if we should be authentic all of the time, or just sometimes, to avoid that pain and disappointment.
But then, is this being authentic to ourself?
No, it is not.
Can you imagine trying to make everyone in your circle happy, while you sit in heartache? I know you can imagine it, because you probably do it too. It’s so easy to put our own self care on the back burner in the name of making others feel happy. But guess what, they are not happy either. Their self care somehow fell off the wagon too.
So where do we go from here?
We get real. We get really real, in the fear and the pain and in the dark depths of it all.
We own it. We own every part of it, the blood and guts of it all.
It’s the only way to work through it. The biggest step and the most fearful one is the first one.
So I sit here holding both decisions in my hands, to tell or not to tell. My authentic self wailing at me to make a choice.
Be naked in my truth
remain the shadow.