Being authentic is the most loving thing you can do, so why are we so bad at it?
Over the summer I was wrestling around with a profound contraction cycle. I kept hearing an inner voice that said “Stop! Take a break. Stop DOING for a while, and just BE.”
My mind was like, “No! That’s craziness. We need to keep up the pace. You are already like five years behind.”
Thankfully I’m familiar with the inner guidance and intuitive nudges that often don’t make sense and I trust them more than my head, so I surrendered — “Okay, I trust something will come through if I let go for a while.” And it did.
After three months of forgetting about trying TO DO MORE, (I only worked with one-on-one clients, and I binge watched The Black List and The News Room) I was able to ground into more of my own authentic Truth that often gets drowned out by the noise and messages we are bombarded with every day.
I had gotten in my own way, lost in the fray of everything that is “internet marketing”, and trying to be “successful”, and I was feeling resistance to making other people’s “business models” and comfort zones fit into my Truth.
The a-ha moment was: I didn’t want to be popular, I wanted to teach, and tell the truth, and share my insight, and be a relatable, accessible, human being, without all the selfies. Puh-leeze!
I’m not an online personality. I’m a teacher.
I’m not a green smoothie drinking yogi. I’m a meat eating bodybuilder.
I’m not shy and soft. I’m emphatic and effervescent.
I’m not going to be politically correct or tow a spiritual line, I’m going to tell the Whole. Damn. Truth. while deconstructing concepts so they are practical and implementable.
One of the quotes that were circulating through my mind at this time was from Eat Pray Love, by Liz Gilbert: “But at some point you have to make peace with what you were given, and if God wanted me to be a shy girl with thin, dark hair, he would have made me that way, but He didn’t. Useful, then, might be to accept how I was made and embody myself fully therein.”
The truth about being authentic and living in integrity, is you have to KNOW who you are, outside of all of the codependent people pleasing and external validation.
And. So. Many. People. Don’t
You have to know, honor, and stand for your core values, beliefs, standards, feelings, and desires like a freaking life raft, or you’ll get swept up in the tide, and wake up on the wrong shore.
You have to FEEL INTO and BE IN the totality of your experience here, including your disowned shame (because as unpopular as shame has become these days, we all have it, or in other words, we all have a part of us that doesn’t love us).
I wish I could tell you that being authentic and living in integrity were as simple as making a “choice” or deciding to, but unfortunately, because most of us are operating through relational wounding, conditioning, and trauma, we typically only have access to the mind or fear based constructs and identities that we’ve created throughout life (unconsciously) to guarantee us safety, security, and love.
As a result, what we often think of as being “authentic” or “fully expressed” or in integrity, isn’t coming from our hearts, especially if we’ve been hypnotized by the “positive thinking,” “I am already love” allure, which has us spiritually bypassing and never sifting through our wounding to reconnect to the purity of our core: our authentic self.
Deep self-connection (which makes authenticity possible) is another level of Knowing. It requires some curiosity, some intention, some vulnerability, some trust, and a whole lot of honesty and compassion with our disowned self-hate, fear, and hurt.
Living in integrity; living in alignment; being authentic from our wholeness, is quite literally an act of self-love; a way of showing up for ourselves; the way we stop the bleeding out, the despair, the feeling unseen, and the depletion that comes from codependent people pleasing, playing small, and trying to squeeze into boxes.
When we don’t show up fully expressed; when we don’t honor our Truth; when we abandon our core values; when we use positive thinking, personal empowerment, and self-help to dismiss or spiritualize away our shame, we are imperceptibly, participating in self-abandonment, which creates voids of self-love that we then go out into the world and co-dependently look for something/someone to take care of our self-love gaps.
So yes, a lack of integrity comes from a lack of self-love, but knowing who we are, and being authentic, and living in integrity, is the most loving and healing thing we can do for ourselves, even with all the unknowns!
All love. All truth.