There is a reccurring theme showing up in my life right now that I am witnessing and experiencing with utter fascination and wonder. That theme has to do with authenticity. Who are we really and how do we source our thoughts, words and actions each day? Is it from a genuine place of truth and spiritual clarity OR is it from a cloudy, altered place in which we gear our output toward how it’s received and by whom?
Life coach and celebrated author Martha Beck believes we each have an essential self – the pure and true inner self that is hardwired in us at birth – and a social self – the outer-world manipulated version of ourselves that is wired to please others.
So many of us, especially women, are struggling to live meaningful lives where we find ourselves having to make choices between doing or saying what’s right and true (from our essential selves) and doing or saying what is more comfortable, tolerable and pleasing to those around us (from our social selves).
Oftentimes, when we experience that feeling of truth and authenticity rising up in us it is almost always met by the roadblock or stop gap of how we and our feelings will be received in the world. Therein lies the choice. “Do I act or speak from my authentic core or do I alter myself in such a way so as not to risk being rejected or losing someone or something that I care about?”
I believe that in our heart of hearts, in our spirit of spirits and in our soul of souls, we inherently understand that the only act of true self love and awakening is to operate in service of our authentic selves.
Pretending to be happy and carefree when you’re struggling to make ends meet; acting as if you like someone when you don’t; feigning comfort and acceptance when you’re being treated disrespectfully are all ways that we stuff our essential, authentic beings deep inside ourselves, seemingly “protected” from the light of day. It’s as if we’re waiting for permission to be alive.
Yes, putting on your best social-self façade can create the illusion that you’ll avoid conflict, pain and loss. But in the long run, the end result is the abandonment and loss of our true selves. And who do we have to live with every moment of every day for eternity? It’s certainly not the “others” that we are trying to please. It’s ourselves. And to betray oneself out of fear of reaction or repercussion from another is no way to live.
So for goodness sake, folks, step into the light and live YOUR truth! The only permission you need is from yourself.