May 26    

Today's quotation:

It's a funny thing, how it works.  The moment we stop trying so hard to be someone, we become ourselves--only what was there all along, waiting and peeking out from behind all the masks we wore.  And when this happens, we discover that Who We Really Are is much greater than anything we might have pretended or even hoped to be.

Jacob Nordby

Today's Meditation:

Boy, I really want to be truly myself.  I don't want to be what advertisers tell me I should be, what society tells me I should be, what my friends and family tell me I should be.  The only true guidance that I have is my own heart, conscience, and spirit, and if I'm true to these things, then I can't help but be a truly authentic, loving, caring human being.  If I try to be what other people want or expect me to be, I'm bound to disappoint many people-- and especially myself.

So if I don't want to disappoint, I need to be true to the callings of my heart and my spirit.  I need to stop being what I think others want me to be, and stay true to who I am.  I need to say no when I know that I don't want something, and I need to say yes even if there's risk or discomfort or possible hard work involved-- when my heart is telling me that I need to say yes.

I spent many years of my life trying to be somebody other than what I was because I wanted to make friends, and I thought I needed to be what they wanted me to be if they were going to be my friends.  I wanted promotions-- or simply to keep my job-- so I said some things I didn't feel were right, or didn't say things that might have jeopardized the status quo instead of being honest.  Nowadays I'm more able to be authentic, while still being able to discern between the situations that demand my authenticity and those in which it doesn't really matter.

I want to be the person who says what needs to be said as a matter of honesty and integrity.  I want to take action when others hesitate or refuse to do so, because I know that a certain action is not only justified, but necessary.  If I can be a truly authentic person, then my life will shine like a star in the night, and not be dimmed by all the other lights that might be shining.

Questions to consider:

Why is it so hard sometimes to be our authentic selves?

What does it mean to you to be authentic?  Are you able to do so regularly?

From where do we get the ideas that we have about what other people want or expect us to be?  Are they always accurate?

For further thought:

Often misconstrued, authenticity is not about being an open book, revealing every detail of yourself without rhyme or reason.  It is simply the act of openly and courageously seeing what needs to be seen, saying what needs to be said, doing what needs to be done, and becoming that which you are intent on being.

Scott Edmund Miller

more on authenticity



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