The Challenge of Authenticity
Showing My Whole Self
Authenticity is challenging.
When I am authentic with somebody
I am exposing a deep vulnerability.
I can’t be authentic without showing
the Yin and the Yang of who I am.
If I leave out either
I am hiding myself.
Therefore it seems the degree of my authenticity
is the degree to which I’m willing to expose
both the darkness and the light of my being.
It’s bloody scary!
That’s why it’s a challenge.
That’s why authenticity is a warrior’s path.
The Payoff is Huge
And yet when I do achieve a deeper level
of authenticity and vulnerability with someone,
while it may be scary, it is also deeply fulfilling.
Almost like nothing else can be fulfilling.
Perhaps this is because these are moments
when I’m truly introduced to myself.
I see myself face to face.
And this gives me the opportunity
to really love myself.
Clearly there are a lot of benefits
to having the courage to be authentic.
I do my best to seek out deeper levels
of authenticity than I am presently able to access.
The Danger Of Being Authentic Is Very Real
The thing is though, the danger is very real
because I have genuinely been hurt in the past
for being vulnerable.
I have being betrayed.
The sting of those experiences is still with me
and makes me hesitate, makes me protect myself.
This is why authenticity is a process
and not simply a one-time decision or experience.
Raising Authentic Children
As I often do, I want to relate this concept to parenting.
I recognized early on how much I had to
fight myself and the world to be authentic.
Well maybe I didn’t have to fight the world,
but I did feel I had to fight
my version of the world
or perhaps my perception of the world.
In any case this is the belief system I had
and it played out in my life.
Recognizing that was the case for me,
I wanted the opposite from my daughter.
I wanted her to feel that
her authentic self is
completely natural and accepted.
Then it wouldn’t feel like a weakness or a risk,
but it would seem like her very core,
her strength, the very existence of who she is.
This has been a central theme in
my parenting investigations.
How can I make it feel safe and strong
for my daughter to be authentic.
Protecting Her Authenticity
I recognize that a certain amount of authenticity
diminishes over time with painful
experiences that all of us experience in life.
I believe though, that we can minimize that damage
and allow a deeper level of authenticity to be
fostered in our children than we ever had access to.
Isn’t that what evolution,
conscious evolution is about?
Helping the next generation
be greater than we ever were.
Conscious parenting isn’t easy.
There’s always a dual process occurring.
On the one hand we are trying to foster
powerful qualities in our children.
On the other hand we realize that
we must be working on those very things
in our own lives if we are
going to pass them on effectively.
Its looking inward and
looking outward simultaneously.
Quite a wonderful skill to practice
and a beautiful opportunity to practice it