Struggling with Authenticity? Read This for Inspiration.
Listen to this post here:
Listen to this post here:I used to really struggle with authenticity; I had no idea what it meant to "just be myself", what it felt like to be truly authentic, and felt all kinds of doubt and fear around whether being "myself" was even OK.When it comes to abstract concepts like authenticity, we can experience a divide between head and heart. After all, most of us know what authenticity means on an intellectual level; it means being ourselves, living our values, showing up in a way that is natural, genuine, and whole-hearted, etc.We can study authenticity until the cows come home, have a deep intellectual understanding, and still feel lost on an emotional and experiential level, unable to put that intellectual understanding into practice.A few weeks ago, someone shared this poem on Facebook and I wanted to share it here with you today, because to me it bridges that gap between head and heart perfectly:
The Invitation by Oriah
It doesn’t interest me what you do for a living. I want to know what you ache for and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart’s longing.It doesn’t interest me how old you are. I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool for love for your dream for the adventure of being alive. It doesn’t interest me what planets are squaring your moon... I want to know if you have touched the centre of your own sorrow if you have been opened by life’s betrayals or have become shrivelled and closed from fear of further pain. I want to know if you can sit with pain mine or your own without moving to hide it or fade it or fix it. I want to know if you can be with joy mine or your own if you can dance with wildness and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your fingers and toes without cautioning us to be careful to be realistic to remember the limitations of being human. It doesn’t interest me if the story you are telling me is true. I want to know if you can disappoint another to be true to yourself. If you can bear the accusation of betrayal and not betray your own soul. If you can be faithless and therefore trustworthy. I want to know if you can see Beauty even when it is not pretty every day. And if you can source your own life from its presence. I want to know if you can live with failure yours and mine and still stand at the edge of the lake and shout to the silver of the full moon, “Yes.” It doesn’t interest me to know where you live or how much money you have. I want to know if you can get up after the night of grief and despair weary and bruised to the bone and do what needs to be done to feed the children. It doesn’t interest me who you know or how you came to be here. I want to know if you will stand in the centre of the fire with me and not shrink back. It doesn’t interest me where or what or with whom you have studied. I want to know what sustains you from the inside when all else falls away. I want to know if you can be alone with yourself and if you truly like the company you keep in the empty moments.Now over to you: What do you want people to know about you? Leave a comment and let us know. Image: Julia Janeta