Deepening Our Authenticity
Many of us hunger for someone to let down the barriers and connect with us in real, deep and intimate ways. It is unfortunate most of our day-to-day interactions aren’t at this level. Personally, I’ve always wanted to feel seen and be surrounded by people who validate me. Because of this, however, I haven’t always been authentic.
I’ve realized my desire to feel seen and validated reflected a theme many people live of searching for worthiness outside of ourselves. I have also come to respect that not everyone wants to let down their walls, or even admit they have them. Mostly I am discovering that being authentic is about much more than seeing and being seen.
Brené Brown, considered one of the experts on the topic of authenticity, expresses it beautifully in her quote:
“Authenticity is a collection of choices that we have to make every day.
It’s about the choice to show up and be real. The choice to be honest. The choice to let our true selves be seen.” This choice has to be internal and external.
Tips For Deepening Our Authenticity
It is difficult for any of us to let our “true selves be seen” if we are judging ourselves or wanting approval. For example, if I want someone to see me as a wise and insightful mentor, I might not share the parts of me that sometimes make poor choices. It’s easier to keep hidden the areas where we fail to live up to our own ideals or the expectations of others.
In each moment we make a choice about how we are going to interpret and respond to what is happening around us. Most of the time this choice is not conscious; we’re more or less running on auto-pilot and acting out of well-established assumptions and beliefs. The process of choosing to show up and be real means increasing our awareness of the choices we are making so we can be more honest with ourselves and others.
Being our true self becomes much easier when we learn to love ourselves, even with all of our perceived faults and flaws. As we accept our humanness and let go of our guilt and shame, we no longer need to hide. We grow in compassion towards ourselves and others. Through embracing and accepting the totality of who I am - and sharing that openly with others - I have discovered I am not alone.
Putting all of this together, what we have is the choice to love ourselves so that we may more fully love each other. We are all here doing the best we can with the awareness we have in the moment. We all make mistakes. We all stumble and fall.
As we accept this pattern and stop striving for perfection, we begin to live more from our heart and our authentic self. We can help each other get back up without judgement. Sharing honestly with others with an open heart invites others to do the same.
In this way we can join together and experience the deeper connections we desire. We can choose to share all of who we are and strive to be fully present. Accepting ourselves fully means we can accept each other. As a result, we can feel a deeper level of authenticity because we begin to see ourselves in everyone. When that starts to happen, we remember we really are all one.