Tag Archives: Authentic self

Truth

By definition truth is being in accord with fact or reality. But what is truth really? What does it look like or sound like in today’s world?  Is anyone really truthful anymore?

I sometimes wonder these things. Life moves so quickly and we have so many different, often conflicting roles to play that I can’t help but speculate how many people really aren’t being truthful in how they live their daily lives. We all have various roles to play and thus numerous masks to wear.  Society, and sometimes even the people closest to us, ensure we know what’s expected of us and most of us work very hard to conform to those expectations.  Not doing so can often be too difficult a thing to bear – the criticism and ridicule, the shame, and the rejection.  But adhering to those expectations or rules is often at the expense of our truth, of how we really feel, and of who we really are.  We tell ourselves it is okay because we don’t have time to worry about that anyway – there’s so much to do and never enough time.  Besides, we try to convince ourselves, everyone else seems to be doing it just fine – no one else is having any issues following the rules so therefore there must be something wrong with us if we can’t do it too, so we had better just learn how to deal with it all and follow “the rules”.

“We know what the world wants from us. We know we must decide whether to stay small, quiet, and uncomplicated or allow ourselves to grow as big, loud, and complex as we were made to be.” – Glennon Doyle Melton, Love Warrior: A Memoir

There’s no room for truth telling and there’s no time for being your authentic self, at least there doesn’t seem to be in today’s frantic and chaotic world. At least that is what we tell ourselves. Yet, stop for one moment to consider what you are giving up by not living your truth.  What sacrifices are you really making?  Are you losing a part of yourself through it all?  Most likely you are.  I know I was for many, many years.  When I was brave enough to express my truth, my dreams, and my hopes, both as a child and as an adult, they were met with discouragement, disinterest, and/or disappointment.  They didn’t match up to what society and those closest to me said I should be doing.  So I let go of them for many years and in doing so lost something very important – myself.  And so for the past few years I have set out on a journey to reconnect with myself and my truth.  I am ignoring the negative messages from society and the people around me and instead believing in myself and what I know to be true for me.  And you know what?  The world didn’t stop spinning on its axis.  No one’s life came to an end because I chose to speak my truth and live my life on my own terms.  I’m still here.  In fact, I am better than ever.  And I have found that I am not alone, as it appears this is a struggle we all seem to share though it is one waged almost entirely internally.

We are so caught up in appearances, in fitting in, in keeping up with everyone else, and in not breaking any of the sacred, secret societal rules for how we should live our lives that so many of us have become broken souls just wondering through life feeling lost, alone, rejected, and/or broken in some way.  I believe this is a huge contributor to all the illness and mental health issues we see today.  If only we could each find the courage and the strength to speak our truth…not only would we feel better overall, but I also believe we would find many kindred souls out there who feel the same way that we do.

“It strikes me that I need to throw out the dictionary the world gave me about what it means to be a mother, a wife, a person of faith, an artist, and a woman and write my own.” ― Glennon Doyle Melton, Love Warrior: A Memoir

If you haven’t read Love Warrior by Glennon Doyle Melton yet, I encourage you to do so.  She is the best example of a truth teller I have come across yet.  Her story is powerful and empowering.  And while her story is not my story, there is so much in her truth that I can relate to that it feels a bit like my story – and I think you will feel the same way about it too regardless of what your story is.

“Be bold, be brave enough to be your true self. – Queen Latifah

The Mask

“The most important kind of freedom is to be what you really are. You trade in your reality for a role. You give up your ability to feel, and in exchange, put on a mask.” – Jim Morrison

There is no freedom like that of being yourself fully and completely – being able to live a life that feels good and right to you…expressing yourself in a way that feels authentic…being true to yourself in all aspects of your life. Yet, how often do we prevent ourselves from experiencing that sense of freedom? How easily do we fall in line with the roles and rules society has handed us, and in doing so lose touch with our true nature? How often do we hide who we really are from the world because our authentic self doesn’t quite conform to the norm? If we are being honest with ourselves, we know the answers to these questions, for most of us at least, are often and easily.

Consider for a moment how you feel when you make the choice to do what others do when it doesn’t ring true to you, or how you feel being confined to the roles and rules given to you by society. How does it feel to put on that mask and go through the motions of daily life in the way society says you should but not in a way that resonates with you? For most of us it can be stifling, frustrating, and/or disheartening. Given this reality, is it any surprise that so many people in today’s world openly talk about their ongoing search for happiness. So many are unhappy, frustrated, and searching for a better way.

And the reality is that so often we prevent ourselves from finding true, lasting happiness by being what we are not…by putting on a mask as Jim Morrison said. There’s no doubt that we are our own worst enemy in this respect. We get so wrapped up in what others think, in how we will appear or come off, in the need to conform and fit in. We compare ourselves with others, thinking we must do what others do in order to be like them, fit in like them, and/or get what they have.

NOT true…we shouldn’t compare ourselves to others because we each have our own path. Different things work for different people, so comparison is such an unfair thing to do to ourselves. Have more compassion for yourself and compare yourself only to the person you were yesterday (not to other people). We need to break free from the need/desire to get approval from and/or be like others. It would be far better to learn how to be ourselves…and feel comfortable while doing it. We each have unique gifts to give to the world and we shouldn’t rob the world of what we have to offer by changing who we are to fit into what society says we should be. Besides, you will feel amazing when you surrender yourself to your true self…when you honor who you authentically are and share it with the world. You just might find the happiness for which you have always been looking all along.

Be yourself; everyone else is already taken. – Oscar Wilde