I struggled a little deciding whether to tackle a subject like this when the world feels so harsh right now. Like countless others, I feel sad at the general state of affairs. Many of us are no doubt feeling vulnerable, considering all the current global events and what if’s that we have zero control over.
I also detest the pain and suffering tens of millions of people in this world are being subjected to. At worst, things could turn out to be catastrophic. At best, they don’t, and we just continue to feel as though we will endlessly be at the mercy of the unknown.
All of which is nothing new, of course, and we can personally control what influences us by choosing what to read and watch. But, in the end, how far can we really run from the truth? Whether this is our own or the state of world affairs?
In my wisest spiritual voice, I want to yell from the rooftops that this ain’t what I signed up for coming to this planet! The world in all its chaos and confusion has had me taking refuge under my covers at times (I’m exaggerating only a little)!
However, it is within this context, and despite the fact that these opening words may not sound motivating, being inspired to feel the joy around us is exactly what we need right now. Even when it all seems a moot cause, if not a little selfish.
I’ve come to realize that confronting head on what challenges and scares us the most gives us the greatest connection to our authenticity. Whether it’s world affairs or personal circumstances that have trapped in an unhealthy way of being, viewing our problems as inspiration to want more for our life leads us to many self-discoveries. Some we never before dreamed possible.
What is authentic?
I love the word authentic. It may have become over-used in the last few years, but there isn’t another word that really can describe what it means. Which is to be genuine. Not false.
You can spot an authentic person a mile away. They are the real deal. Here’s how I define the characteristics of authenticity:
- We know the reason we are here.
- We are choosing to get the lessons we are here to learn as part of our experiences.
- We always find the courage to break through any mental or physical barriers to pursue those things that mean the most to us.
- We are committed to our values and live with intention.
- We continuously strive to develop greater compassion for ourselves and others by respecting and honouring both the differences and sameness in each other.
- We present ourselves to the world as the same person we are behind closed doors in all our truth.
- We feel gratitude and joy in all that we have and do.
- We know our value and what we deserve. We don’t settle.
- We give ourselves permission to take a risk.
- We can forgive ourselves and others by being willing to see beyond our failures.
- We love ourselves for who we are and respect all that we have been through.
How wide are your wings?
Now admittedly, it takes time to develop our authenticity as we navigate our experiences and try to unravel who we really are and what we really want. Which can change with time and what we experience. But authenticity starts the moment we choose to be true to ourselves and can show others who we are without fear of judgement or persecution. And when we can do this, we can spread our wings.
How wide are your wings? They are as wide as you can envision them and want them to be today. And if that’s not very wide or at all, remember that sometimes, just a fluttering of our wings to test their strength is the only action we need to ever-expand our reach. To take off and fly!
And when we can fly…
When we can fly, it’s essential to also remember that we still need a warm and safe nest to return to. Both as a real dwelling and a mindset that secures us to the belief that we can be who we want to be, on our own terms, and in our own time.
What about when we can’t fly?
While looking at this as a big chunk of change all at once, we grow into our authenticity in stages and as our experiences allow us to. Simply put, sometimes our circumstances and responsibilities don’t allow us to shine as the person we know we are meant to be. Which leaves us feeling out of alignment with who we are and what we feel forced to do. Which is frustrating and can make any one of us want to give up the pursuit of ourselves.
Alternatively, we can already be living our most authentic life and just one event can knock us to the ground. Everyone likes to think that bad things only happen to other people. We are ALL the “other people”. We must be willing to embrace all our experiences, especially the most painful ones, in order to reclaim the joy that comes from remaining true to who we really are.
5 practices to help you stay inspired and on track:
When life gets you down or you are rebuilding from the ground up, here are 5 practices to help you stay inspired and on track:
- Hold on to the vision of who you want to be and what you want to feel and experience.
- Be patient. Trust your journey and the choices you are making to help you get where you eventually want to go.
- Give yourself permission to change your mind, but don’t quit on yourself.
- Be flexible.
- Trust your heart and gut. They’ll never steer you wrong when you how how to listen to them.
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