Monday, January 18, 2010

Authentic Self

To be nobody-but-yourself -- in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else -- means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting"
-E.E. Cummings

Or, to put it another way, the importance of getting rid of all the 'junk' that we take on, that adheres to us as we get older and assume the trappings, the costume of civilization, that prevents us from being honest, raw, authentic, nobody but ourselves - stuff that others put on us to make us more like them, more acceptable, more obedient, tamer, quieter, more familiar, more 'like-able'.

Most people live their entire lives never finding their authentic self. They never find the person they were meant to be, nor do they develop themselves to their greatest potential. Unfortunately this is much easier said than done, for it takes time and effort to undo programmed habits and ways of living.

By claiming our authentic self we can live life to our fullest potential. To be authentic means to find the key to happiness and success within ones self, not within the society or environment that they live in. Society usually means the external system of authority that consciously and unconsciously dictates the direction and behavior of our lives. Do you ever wonder why it is so important to live a certain way, with a certain car, house, school degree, etc.? It is because society dictates it to be so. To live and be your authentic self, you must free yourself from that cultural prison. You must think for yourself and create your own thoughts, needs and desires. Then, and only then, you are being authentic.

When you live an authentic life, you are living the life that resonates with your inner being. You will not bind yourself with destructive habits, relationships or lifestyles. You will gain inner strength and let go of manipulation, power plays, cruelty and hatred. You will find that your life is being elevated to a higher spiritual level. You will be thinking of humankind, rather than self. You won't be afraid of truth, and will deal with fear in a better way.

When we ask people why they continue to live an unhappy and unfulfilled existence, they often respond, "they don't know why". For example, if they are unhappy with their job, we ask them, "Why do you continue to stay and be unfulfilled at your job, day after day?” Or why do you continue to behave in a way that isn't necessarily healthy, like smoking or drinking too much? What we observe is that they don't know why they do certain things. They just continue to do it out of habit. What we have determined is that their behavior doesn't match with their values, thus they are not living authentically.

I encourage you to lead yourself into a life of authenticity. You may need to spend some time and ponder exactly what it is you want from your life, and who exactly you are. It is a journey that will lead you to incredible things, mostly YOURSELF!

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