Being Our Authentic Self
should be the simplest thing in the world to do, but it can be surprisingly difficult. If being ourselves when we were younger, meant rejection and humiliation, we likely experience a great deal of fear around being ourselves and speaking our truth. Everything we think, feel and do is filtered through the lens of how much shame and rejection will I experience if I take this action? This more than doubles the process of decision-making and makes us exhausted and hyper vigilant.
If we don’t understand and overcome this dynamic, we stay stuck in a prison of our own making, because we are subconsciously continuing the dysfunctional patterning that created our energetic blueprint in early childhood.
Because we often carry a negatively skewed perception of ourselves, we embody low-level energy, which attracts people into our experience that verify our beliefs. We can however, experience different treatment by changing our beliefs to something more accurate and focusing on what we do want, rather than what we don’t want. Beliefs are changed through commitment to more positive thoughts.
Everyone is born with different gifts and desires. Unconscious parents see their children as something to mould into a pleasing person of their liking, but we are all born with innate needs, gifts, drives and a purpose of our own. If our desires for ourselves conflicted with our parents desires for us, we may not feel able to speak our truth or even know how to access our truth.
Healthy parents know it is their role to unconditionally love and encourage their child’s unique expression in the world. By the time a child becomes an adult it should be capable of functioning happily without Mum & Dad. It should be excited about life, confidently attract opportunities and be unconditionally loving and emotionally self-regulating. If we are born to conscious parents we evolve faster.
If we were told our desires were selfish, we feel guilty validating ourselves. In fact we have been taught to invalidate ourselves to please others. We prioritise the comfort of another, assuming they are above us and we are below them. This is an egoic coping mechanism invoked to protect the inner child. Our emotionally underdeveloped parent needed the upper hand to feel safe, so we were forced into a submissive position. This arrested our emotional development and we may be stuck at the emotional level of a young child. As adults we can dissolve this dynamic through understanding and commitment to taking our power back.
Becoming Our Authentic Self
For some people being themselves is easy, but for others it requires a shift to greater consciousness and a reprogramming of the subconscious. This can be done with commitment, but takes time, self acceptance and humility. It’s important to accept ourselves at all stages of the journey and not consider ourselves unfit until we reach a level of healing society considers acceptable. Releasing shame we have been carrying from emotionally underdeveloped others helps us feel much lighter and more equal to our spiritual awakening.
When we have to hide so much of ourselves to be accepted as children, we adapt by pretending to be something we are not. This makes others pleased short-term, but we dislike ourselves and feel resentment inside. If we weren’t able to express this resentment when we were young, we stuff it down, but it leaks out aggressively or passive aggressively onto others, often beyond our own awareness. We can’t really complain that someone or something has hurt us, if we haven’t asked them not to hurt us in this way, because we weren’t aware we had a right to do so.
Speaking our truth is vitally important if we want to be understood and loved. As adults we may not be aware we have a right to speak up about our feelings and vulnerabilities. Learning how to maturely relate is vital in relationships. Speaking our needs with vulnerability, from our own perspective, and being prepared to leave a situation where our feelings are consistently disrespected is a must if we want to love ourselves.
Being ourselves requires self validation and the ability to prioritise our own wellbeing. If we live by our innate guidance system, we know we are living as life intended.
Self validation can be a misnomer if we don’t know what constitutes the self, or understand our rights as human beings. We validate the self, by following our bliss and having low tolerance for anything that doesn’t feel good. This may be completely the opposite of what we were taught growing up.
In order to heal, we have to see and accept our denial about how powerless we feel and adopt enough humility to say I’ve messed up, because I didn’t know any better. Integrating our darker nature makes us human and is nothing to be ashamed of. We can’t appreciate the light without darkness. Coming out is such a good feeling, but we have to step out of your comfort zone to do it.
Healing Takes Time & Commitment
It’s not possible to suddenly become completely authentic if we haven’t been so far in life. We may be out of touch with who our authentic self really is. We may fear getting in touch with our authenticity, because it brings up feelings of guilt and shame. Authenticity increases as we listen to ourselves more and start to think, feel and act in ways that feel natural to us (even when this displeases others).
Everyone is responsible for their own emotional health, so we are not responsible for meeting the emotional needs of unhealthy others, despite what they may tell us. Switching to internal guidance from external guidance is radical and we may experience a great deal of self-doubt when you have to think for ourselves. Over time though, we noticeably feel more confident and life seems less complicated and serious . Becoming more authentic is the journey back to our true nature, which is called enlightenment. The more enlightened we become, the safer and more trusting and loving we feel towards the external environment, because we know safety and trust is an inside job.
We must feel our feelings and listen to what they are telling us. As a rule of thumb if they evaluate us negatively they are inaccurate and telling us to think positively.
Congruence occurs when body, mind, & heart are all in sync and on the same page. This is akin to having a high vibration, clarity and good emotional stability. Being aware of your own incongruence is the first step to becoming more authentic. Incongruence feels unstable and disorienting so we know we are misinterpreting our inner guidance. Choosing to figure out what the problem is and find our balance is a self loving act and the best thing we can do for ourselves and others.
It is easier to be vulnerable when we have inner stability, because we know we can take emotional risks without losing ourselves. We know where our responsibilities start and finish and don’t assume responsibility for the emotions of others.
Being authentic includes not lying to please someone else, or avoiding the discomfort ‘being true to ourselves’ would cause. We all know when we are lying because our conscience tells us. Commitment to being honest as much as possible and being mindful when we are not helps us be more self-aware. Is this something I need to work through? Weigh up the pros and cons and make a brave choice because it becomes easier in time. Honesty improves intimacy, because the other person isn’t left wondering what we meant and feels safer to open up.
Having no attachment to an outcome includes being comfortable trying things where you may fail publicly and deciding it’s worth the short-term discomfort, as you may actually pull it off. Failure is an opportunity to learn and try something better. Failure is just a little detour and when we give up seeking external validation, we don’t have to factor in time worrying about what others think. The fact is, most people are too absorbed with their own lives to notice us as much as we might imagine.
People who view us negatively might just be pleased we failed, because it makes them feel less inadequate. Our perceptions can be wildly inaccurate, so it pays to really dissect them. Being a positive force in the world is way more important than wasting time worrying about what other people think. The more authentic we are, the less self-conscious we are, because authenticity is natural and internally validating.
Accessing Our Inner Guidance
Sentence completion exercises are great for connecting to our inner guidance, because they allow us to access the first thing that comes into our mind, before the conditioned patterning sabotages it.
Have a go at completing the following sentences:
I don’t pursue my dream career because……..?
My dream house is……..?
My parents see me as………?
The things I like about myself are……..?
My body is…….?
My love life is………?
I feel in control of my life………?
The things I like about myself are……..?
The things I dislike about myself are……..?
I’m held back in life by……..?
Commitment to authenticity is a lifelong process and if you introspect you notice yourself making healthier choices over time. You will think, ha the old me wouldn’t have stood up for myself there – yay! Let confidence build slowly and surely, as you learn to realign your understanding of what is your responsibility and what isn’t.
Give it a go, incremental changes are more sustainable and less of a shock to yourself and others. Love yourself as you are, you’re doing just great… x