Living authentically; what does that mean to you? To me it meant doing the work I am destined to do and fulfilling dreams, but I think there might be more to it. Something more subtle and profound. Speaking my truth.
Since I was young I have expressed myself in my own way. In Catholic school I added suspenders to my uniform. I saw an old Coca Cola picture of a girl with her pants rolled up some and I thought it was so cute I started to do that too. Now it is the style but back then I was teased terribly for it. But, that never stopped me. It was as if I had to be my own fashionista, my own internal creative source portrayed to the world. Flowy dresses, no shoes, flowers in my hair, my high school attire my own. My aunt used to say that I could take a few outfits and turn them into a dozen. Now, if you know how I dress…well, I just dress exactly how I please. But I don’t often show people the real me.
I have been brave. I have followed my dreams, manifested my desires, followed my heart.
I write from my soul, everything in my spirit escaping into text. People can relate to our troubles, triumphs, life. I am successful in my work, I show my art, I sell my books, but I am missing an integral part of authenticity. Speaking.
I do not say what I feel. If a family member says something hurtful, I don’t respond. I mull it over in my mind and let it fester and run through what I should have said, but I don’t. I don’t respond, I don’t speak. I just ignore. I worry about keeping the peace, about hurting other’s feelings, about what people will think.
If I don’t say what I need done at the house, my husband won’t know. If I don’t tell people at my shop what I need done, no one can read my mind. Oy, I have become a martyr!
Living authentically is having enough love and respect for oneself to confidently stroll through this journey with strength and courage to speak.
Perhaps authenticity is more than wearing aprons to work or housing chickens. Perhaps it is more than lifestyle and outward expression, but also knowing when to speak your truth, saying what you need, and letting folks know if they are hurting you. Perhaps authenticity is caring and loving oneself more than worrying about what people will think when you speak.
So I encourage you today to dress in your favorite clothing, smile at the world from where you are, do exactly as you please today, and say what’s on your mind. Love yourself first. That is living authentically.