Much of what we do is not who we are. It’s as if we set our minds on autopilot and live our lives through a repetitive cycle of old thoughts, beliefs, and habits—much of which were reactions or responses to early life experiences. These habits and patterns become our survival mechanisms and our “way” of doing life.
Most of us over-identify with our survival mechanisms, as well as the symptoms they produce. Simply think about how many things you attach “I AM” to:
I am a people pleaser. I am depressed/anxious. I am bad. I am not good enough.
These may be behaviors, feelings, and/or thoughts that you HAVE, but they are NOT WHO YOU ARE. To quote A.L. Kitselman: “The words ‘I am’ are potent words; be careful what you hitch them to. The thing you’re claiming has a way of reaching back and claiming you.” Our authentic self does not claim these things, rather it lives beneath this conditioning waiting to be discovered, expressed, lived, and seen. It is our job to peel back the layers and get curious about our limiting beliefs, fears, reactions, and old stories. It is our journey to go within and come home to our True Self, no longer seeking external solutions but finding the wisdom and truth within.
Authenticity is clarity of Self and the tenacity to live it out in your daily life. Authenticity is real, unapologetically imperfect, and in alignment with our life purpose. In today’s age of social media, we are thirsty for authenticity. On the inside a part of us says, “just be real, just be you,” and then we post the 10th selfie we took or the one photo when our children weren’t crying. We work so hard to keep up an image that is not who we are. We work so hard to connect to others through this image. And then we wonder why we are so tired, lonely, and discontent.
While most of us desire Authenticity, it is the road less traveled. Honestly, we become attached to our stories, our pseudo-identities. And it can be challenging at times to let go of these attachments. The more we hold on to them, the more suffering we experience. Trust me, holding on is harder than letting go.
I love the scene from Finding Nemo when they are in the mouth of the whale.
Dori: “It’s time to let go. Everything is going to be alright.”
Marlin: “How do you know? How do you know something bad isn’t going to happen?
Dori: “I don’t.”
…And he lets go!
We don’t know what’s on the other side of letting go. The truth is our old behaviors, beliefs, or habits become all too familiar, comfortable, and (on some level) safe to us even when confronted with the reality that it is no longer working for us. We risk the unknown when we let go. It is that risk, that fear, that keeps us holding on. For Marlin, letting go was exactly what he needed. It provided him a solution that his old pattern of control would never give him. The moment we let go, we release who we were to experience who we will become. Who will you become?
Are you ready to be Authentically You?
Are you ready to take the road less traveled?
I can help you on your journey to Authenticity. Visit Inner Journey Counseling or call at 678-521-6626.
“Leap, and the net will appear.” ~John Burroughs