- Published in Be Inspired Blog
“Discovering Your Authentic Self”
It’s so interesting in our modern “screen age” world to observe the endless stream of people putting themselves “out there”. Today people share many aspects of their personal and professional lives on public forums and various media platforms. It’s almost as if you can get to know someone without ever meeting them face to face. This has become a world of its own and in my personal observation of this world I began to ask myself a very important question: Who am I when no one’s looking? Is the woman presenting herself on social media the same woman who sits in front of this keyboard typing these words? I have chosen this topic to get up close and personal and delve a little deeper in to what I believe can help us discover those greater aspects of our authentic selves.
Being social on social media
I have to admit I’m a pretty private person and it can be difficult sometimes to share a lot on social media. For most of us it means the intricate balance of finding a way to connect with people without invading or compromising our own personal privacy. We try to be transparent but there’s also some hesitation to reveal too much of who we are for fear of judgement or persecution. In the end, what we choose to share and how we present it reveals a lot about us. It’s what we don’t choose to share that reveals even more. Those things about us that we would rather not share are the very things that can lead us on the path to discovering more of our authenticity and be an inspiration for others. It could be a personal struggle or challenge, a certain perception or viewpoint about a topic or issue or an important message you want to share. In the end these things reach much further in to the aspects of our true genuine nature than most other things do.
To be more authentic then means you have to be willing to take inventory on those things you’d rather not share and accept and embrace them first for yourself. I’ve been on a path of spiritual growth and awakening for quite some time now. It’s a big topic that’s still somewhat unknown to most people and while they might be open to new information being presented in this area, aren’t necessarily completely accepting and supportive. That’s okay! I’ve learned that it’s not about seeking acceptance. It’s about being willing to open up and speak about the things that resonate deep within my heart. The courage to share and express our truth to those around us allows the opportunity to catch a glimpse of that authentic part of us that constantly whispers inside of us wanting to be heard.
Mirror Mirror on the Wall…
It’s just you in front of the bathroom mirror. What kind of a conversation are you having about yourself? Self-love and self-care are probably two of the most difficult topics for people to openly talk about. We have a tendency to become concerned with what others think about us, but have you ever really paid attention to what you think about you? Would you dare repeat those statements you are saying about yourself to anyone or about anyone else? I believe that one of the single most important tasks that is required of us in our lifetime is to learn how to love ourselves unconditionally. After all, how can we expect to give love to anyone else if we haven’t first given it to ourselves?
There’s no doubt that we are our own worst critic and in some ways there’s almost a mental compulsion to beat ourselves up emotionally on a daily basis! I’ve dedicated a lot of time and energy on my spiritual journey to really getting to know myself. All aspects of myself deemed “good” or “bad”. What I’ve discovered is that when I finally stopped with the judgement and labelling, all that was left was acceptance in the form of love. From this place I am able to forgive the parts of me that need forgiving, heal the aspects of me that need healing and celebrate and bring forth the parts of me that I feel demonstrate more of who I’m discovering myself to be. It’s a process that is continuous and in so many ways one of the most liberating and uplifting experiences!
I came up with the idea to use the sub title “the mask” in this blog post because of a personal experience I had a number of months ago that seemed to fit perfectly with this topic. I was asked to perform at a private party event. Nothing out of the ordinary there as I’ve been a performer for many years. It was what happened when I arrived at the party that jolted my awareness to something I hadn’t noticed or observed before. The moment I walked in the door I began to act and speak differently. It was as if I had become a different person somehow. The funny thing was that for the first time I was observing what was happening and literally thinking to myself “what are you doing?” I understand now that my authentic self had taken a back seat in that moment. A different version of me was activated and completely took over. I began to wonder how many more versions or “masks” of me exist?
There’s no question that certain people, social and environmental situations that we find ourselves in do trigger specific emotional and behavioural responses in us. The real work is learning how to disconnect and disengage from those responses once we identify them within ourselves. It’s then that we have an opportunity to choose to be a more genuine higher version of ourselves in any situation. Allowing that unique inner light to shine has a greater influence and meaningful impact on the world than dimming that light and pretending to be someone we are not!
Heart versus Head
This last title sums up what I’ve come to understand are the sign posts that we can use to identify how close or how far away we are from walking the path of authenticity. The sign posts that I’m referring to aren’t something physically outside of us but rather emotional coming from within us. Emotion reveals exactly who we are “being” in any given moment. Many great spiritual teachers have explained that there are really only two emotions that we operate from and those are love or fear. To operate from a place of love means we are connected to the heart. To operate from a place of fear means we are connected to the mind. When we are guided in our being through the heart we experience emotions like happiness, joy, compassion, empathy, contentment and peace.
In turn then to be guided in our being through the mind evokes emotions like anger, guilt, anxiety, doubt and hate. It is then for us to determine if our true authenticity expresses itself through the path of love or fear. If you are reading this I’m going to assume with confidence that you already know the answer! There’s an opportunity in every single moment of our lives to choose the emotional path that determines who shows up and who is present. We all know that the world needs more love and each and every one of us has the opportunity to spread that love by being the greatest and grandest authentic expression of who we really are!
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