According to Webster, authentic means: 1.of undisputed origin; genuine.
There is a quote by Carl Gustav Jung “The privilege of a lifetime is to become who you truly are.” At the age of 54, I get this now more than ever. When we are young, before we have learned all the filters put on us by our parents, teachers, and society, we speak with an unfiltered observation.
As we mature and interact with more people and find ourselves in different situations, we begin to shift the words we say, the things we do, how we engage, and who we are in the world. Over time if we want to live a peaceful and happy existence, we begin to look inward.
There have been numerous points for me over the last 54 years where I decided to change who I was and changed how I responded to life and the world. I read a great quote from this previous year; “change isn’t about what you do; it is about who you are.”
This quote is so accurate; changing what you do is temporary unless you can change who you are. When we decided we are healthy and start making healthy choices about our physical activities and the food we eat, we no longer need to worry about going on a diet.
There is courage needed to become one’s authentic self. The people in your life have become very comfortable with how you show up and likewise with them for you. However, we each have a very distinct purpose, the thing we do which brings us joy and fulfills us.
When we live our lives centered around this, we seem to feel calm and completely okay in the silence and stillness of life. We are no longer looking for the next distraction. We notice the beauty in nature and find joy in serving and showing up for others. I feed my soul with the laughter of friends and family.
This journey is like a river and is ever-flowing, ever-evolving. As such, we shift and change and alter our course. Being in nature or connecting with friends and family is what happiness looks like for me. I have had the privilege of knowing some amazing people along my journey, and showing up for them is a massive part of who I am.
I am showing up as my authentic self by creating moments, experiences, and memories to expand our lives. Having a diverse set of friends and family(adopted into) enables me to show up differently for each person. Yet, sometimes out of nowhere, a few words can knock the wind out of our sails. I wonder how many times I have said something unbeknownst to me which had a similar impact.
Being intentional in your words is a new part of how I try to show up. Had I not had this experience, I wouldn’t have been as aware of this. Carl Gustav Jung was so right in authentic being the privilege of a lifetime. It isn’t static. It is ever-changing. As much as we want others to enjoy the moments we share, we must recognize the reverse is true. I am not a skier and do not enjoy being cold. I have friends who find complete joy on the mountain. They would not assume I would want to ski, so I need to respect how I invite them to show up in my life.
“A huge part of being authentic in one’s life is allowing others to also be authentic in theirs.” CL Landreth
How do I show up in other people’s lives?
Am I authentic?
Do I honor and respect other people’s authentic self?
Over the last year, I have advanced some of my relationships by revealing more of who I am by being willing to be vulnerable. Some of my relationships have grown more distant as a result. Who knows where or how I will shift over the next year or decade. I will strive to surround myself with those whose lives I enrich and enrich mine. To me, this is a life well-lived.