The word ‘authentic’ seems to be everywhere these days. It’s become one of those ‘woke’ words that’s all trendy and tossed around like leaves in the wind, so now the word has lost any real meaning or value.
I think it could be one of the most important words in our language at this moment. I think that each and every one of us should be considering exactly what it means to be authentic – these times are calling for nothing less.
Because this word has been so abused (can you abuse a word? Most definitely – yes!) it took me quite some time to drill down to the real meaning, to the core of what it means to be authentic and to live an authentic life.
For me… to be authentic means to live and express from the very deepest part of your being. It means that not only are you connected to that which is true for you, moment to moment, but you clearly and honestly express that truth at all times.
So.. the next question has to be, what is your Truth? How do you know what is really your Truth?
There’s only one way to know your own Truth and that is to be connected to your inner guidance system, your intuition. This inner guidance is the Knowing, the part of you that is who you truly are. There, in that mysterious place, you will find a sense of knowing what is right and what is true for you in that moment. This sense of rightness is the voice of your very own authenticity. It will never lie, never let you down, always guide you in the direction that will lead you to be the ‘best’ self that you can be.
However, there’s a problem. A big problem.
Each and every one of us has spent a lifetime creating a heavy dark shadow that hides this place of Knowing. It can be known as ego, but I think it is actually only one function of ego.
This shadow, this trickster, has been very cleverly crafted by the part of ego whose duty it is to protect our innermost self – the place that is exquisitely vulnerable and so easily crushed and diminished. As children growing up in a world that is harsh and unkind, there is a need for this protection and it builds and builds over the years, until that shadow of protection is all that we know.
To be truly authentic means to have the courage to dig down through these dense, shadowy layers that we ourselves have created, to dig down through the fears and the traumas, the shame and the regrets, all the places and the things we have done that we cannot forgive ourselves for… all the muck that is lurking in the darkness that blankets the true authentic self.
It’s a continual and never ending process to uncover this tender part of ourselves. It’s simply never finished. It’s wise to know and accept this when we begin.There’s always more threads to pull and unwind as we work our way through the tangles and the knots. If we can just keep at it and not give up, if we can be brave enough, find enough courage to keep going… at the very end of each thread we will reclaim another brilliant, shining fragment of the marvellous authentic Being we were born to be.
Now obviously the next question has to be:
If it’s so damn difficult and it’s never complete, why do it? Why search for that place, hidden so deep within? Why does it matter that we live an authentic life rooted in our own unique authentic sense of Self.
The answer is quite simple. And you already know it.
Because until we connect with our own Authentic Inner Beingness, until we learn to express the truth of who we really are, we will never feel fulfilled and we will never know joy.
We will spend our lives searching for something, anything to fill that aching hole inside, that sense that something is missing. This longing for peace, for fulfillment, is at the core of all addictions and self destructive behaviour. It is the reason for all the diversions we create, all the distractions and the neediness. It is the reason for the destruction of the planet – our insatiable need to consume.
We search everywhere but seldom do we look where we will find the answer. The answer will never be found outside ourselves – the planet and all of her material abundance can never fill our desperate sense of emptiness and the loneliness that is at its core.
The only place to find the answer is in the opposite direction – deep within.
To touch the truth of our Knowingness. To feel the next ‘Right step’ and then having the courage to take it, no matter what. To be brave enough to be vulnerable and to trust that all will be well… this is the Hero’s Journey and it leads to living an authentic life as a fully realized Authentic Being.
Choosing to leave the attachments of the shadow self behind and stepping into the truth and the knowing of our own Authentic Beingness, then living the authentic life, trusting our truth, connecting with the higher intelligence that knows only love ….
This is the way forward as we learn to ride the wave of the Great Shift. By following what feels right and leaning into what it means to live our lives with truth and integrity, we can be guided to create a future that will find a way to heal the planet and heal our hearts.