- au·then·tic adjective ə-ˈthen-tik, ȯ-
- real or genuine
- not copied or false
- true and accurate
: true to one’s own personality, spirit, or character
How authentic are you willing to be? It’s my new obsession, but it can be tricky, because there are seemingly endless layers to authenticity.
I feel like I’m an open book, almost to a fault. I’ll tell anyone, anything they want to know about me. Have you read this blog? It horrifies my husband! In fact, my practice lately has been to dial down the TMI.
Well…not on this page.
But is that authenticity?
Maybe because it’s easy for me, I’m gonna say no.
I’ll tell you with a laugh, that yes, I’ve farted in yoga; but I may not tell you the truth about your cheating-ass boyfriend, when you ask my opinion. Besides, when someone asks your opinion…they don’t REALLY want to know.
By definition, being true to yourself, accurate and genuine, are the hallmarks of being an authentic human being, but how do you navigate friendships, love relationships and jobs, when you’ve developed a permanent groove from habitually “biting your tongue”.
I’m finding there’s an art to authenticity.
Expressing a truthful, but measured response.
Sometimes “No” IS a complete sentence; especially when elaborating could open Pandora’s box, or a can of whoop ass.
“It’s just not my thing” or “I’ve never been a fan of that” have saved my life.
I’ve been in retail sales all my life, and I made it a practice to NEVER lie to a customer just to make a sale. I know it pissed off my boss on numerous occasions, but again, if the earrings looked like shit, I steered them in another, sometimes less expensive, but more flattering direction. I know it was appreciated because they made a point to tell me so. A sales person who tells the truth is an anomaly, and it makes an impression.
Gently letting your best friend know that she’s too old to rock the leather mini skirt to the reunion, instead of being the kind of friend that just nods and gives a thumbs up, then turns her head and rolls her eyes. That’s SO not okay! And completely not authentic. A two second “wince” will save her hours of public humiliation, and having to see the pictures on Facebook for years to come. We MUST do this for each other, we MUST show up this way!
Here’s another layer: Our appearance…
In my obsession to live more authentically, I’m growing out all my blonde highlights, and I’m leaning into letting the whole thing finally be the color it’s been dying to be…grey.
I’ll still be getting a rockin’ haircut so I don’t look like Barbra Bush… I’m authentic, not crazy!
But how far am I willing to go with this?
Not concealing the dark under eye circles?
No false eyelashes!?!?
No make up of any sort? (gasp).
What about nail polish? Spanx?????
Is that authentic? Or just a cruel thing to do to the people that have to look at me everyday?
It’s kinda funny…or is it?
Are we just trying to “look our best”?
If we’re trying to look 30 when we’re 55, shouldn’t someone be giving us “the wince”?
Here’s my real struggle: Can I just let my chicken neck and my grandmothers hands, that are now at the end of MY arms, be the markers of my journey so far?
Can I /We be authentic enough to let our TRUE selves show up?
How would we be received by the world?
This is definitely a work in progress, so I’m thinking one small step at a time.
Here’s a sentence that goes to the heart of the matter and is really powerful:
IF I’M TRUELY MY AUTHENTIC SELF, WITH MY WARTS, FARTS, CHICKEN NECK, MY TRUTH TELLING, GOOFY, GREY HAIRED, MYSTICAL, PERFECTLY IMPERFECT SELF. AM I STILL LOVABLE?
I’ll leave you with that, talk amongst yourselves.