Authenticity: Being Free to be You

2 08 2011

Poetry Books
Image by chillihead via Flickr

Authenticity is being free to be you; genuine.  Many of us struggle with authenticity because we actually don’t know who we really are.  We have been groomed, trained, and encouraged by the different cultural units in our lives to be what is necessary for the circumstances, environment, or needs at the time.  Just reading this last sentence may scratch you and stir up a little emotion of some sort because we have become so adept at role playing that we no longer see the definition of ‘authenticity’ in our functional dictionary.

I have been reading a great book, Saved by a Poem: The transformational power of words, by Kim Rosen.  I found her thoughts regarding authenticity very challenging.  She states that there are two keys to being freely authentic when speaking a poem
(The premise of the book is that the integration of poetry into our lives is healing and peacemaking), “The first is a willingness to welcome feelings of being unseen, unheard, and misunderstood” (p. 186).  She continues to say that “it is only when you are willing to be unseen that you can be truly visible.” (p. 187).  If we are not willing to be unseen, then much of our energy is put to either being seen or protecting ourselves from
judgment.  I don’t know about you, but that can be a consuming energy.

The second key is to be willingly seen, as you are – all of you.  Again, if we stop and think about it, so much of our energy is put towards controlling what we want to be visible for others or hiding what we don’t want others to see.  Making a mistake in front of others can be devastating.  How we present ourselves is so often based on hiding the blemish, squeezing behind the control panels, or wearing what others are wearing even if it isn’t our style, just to fit in.

People are going to see what they want to see, no matter what.  The integrative thought I continue to dabble with and encourage you to do so as well, is: Am I willing to be
authentic to me, for me, and in me?  Am I willing to be visible in my beauty and  imperfections?  Am I willing to be ‘not seen’?  Am I willing to be me, because I am me,
inclusive of good, not good, and in-between?  Lots to ponder!

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