Being Authentic or Being the Authentic Self
It’s been an interesting thing to observe in our culture, the use, and importance of being authentic. Being authentic is used as a shorthand meaning, speak your truth, be honest, be real. Now what I’ve come to see is “being authentic” being used as a pass to not take responsibility, to maintain the status quo and not face the downside and the shadow of one’s self.
My commitment to personal development started about 3.5 years ago in a weekly mastermind and since that time I’ve seen more and more how being authentic has integrated with our culture. In those sessions, we were mentored and supporting into facing our shadows, the practice of looking at our subconscious and on conscious patterns in order to grow and mature and expand. It was in these cultivated spaces of trust that the concept of the Authentic Self was first introduced to me. The Authentic Self-representing the highest ideals of all of us – unconditional love, truth, peace, respect, courage, life without fear or ego and being authentic was tied to that.
When you see the traits that are used to describe the Authentic Self, the disparity between those ideals and what “being authentic” has come, is now self-evident.
there is a difference between speaking your truth and owning your truth
Speaking your truth is just your opinion. Now, let’s not take away the courage it can take to do that – state their opinion, I myself constantly struggle with making that decision as well. But OWNING your truth is so much more powerful because it’s taking responsibility for the possible limitations in our perspectives. Here’s a dramatic example, if you own a gun and someone takes that gun and kills someone, you’re not guilty for murder, but you may be guilty for how that weapon was kept. How are you storing or using your weapon? “The power of life and death is in the power of the tongue.”
Don Miguel Ruiz known spiritual teacher and author of The Four Agreements, a less-than-200-page book that has sold over 8.2 million copies, delivers 4 basic principles for the beginning of spiritual awareness and personal growth. The first principle, called agreements in the book, is “Be Impeccable with your Word”. Meaning “Speak with Integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using the word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the power of your word in direction of truth and love”
We don’t want to be negligent in speaking our truth and being mindful of our intentions at the moment is how we be aware of this.
Owning your truth means owning your feelings as well, which can only begin when we are willing to face them; to acknowledge and accept the ego or shadow. This is being a Leader in your life. I think that’s one of the things that people don’t always talk about in Personal Growth. Facing your shadow and scary and uncomfortable, and can feel disproportionately like taking emotional blows over and over again. But then unexpectedly someone makes a comment on how much you’ve changed, and then you start to realize things that used to bother you, don’t.
Being the real you, your Authentic Self is worth more than the vanity of being right; it’s worth more than our being afraid, being guilty or angry and prideful. You’re worth more than your ego wants you to know. I’m writing this for you as much as I am for me. Let’s choose the higher, together.
Gloria in Excelsis Deo