By Patricia Allwood Hindman
Authenticity, being the real you, is when you are aligned in social setting with your beliefs and values. It comes from a real place inside us, and when we operate authentically, we find that illusive thing called peace.
I think being authentic is almost impossible in youth because we don’t know who we are. It becomes easier as we “go gray,” but there are still times when I question if my actions have aligned with who I really am. Most of those times come after I have already acted in a way that is not the real me. Then I have to reflect on why I didn’t stay true to myself.
At the center of you
How does a person become more authentic? Please, don’t take me as the expert. I’m just now feeling I am really me. I’m centered, that is until the next bump in the road. Reflecting, I think these things helped.
- I have learned my core beliefs and learned to listen to them. Although I find opinions valuable, I basically stick to what I believe is right and wrong for me. I evaluate my lifestyle and see if my life reflects my beliefs.
- I have eliminated most crutches from my life. Most of my crutches came in the form of addictions and people. I’m easily addicted to drugs and food, but I fought another addiction for years. I held onto a high level of approval addiction. I sought approval from people I loved, liked. Even worse, when I admired someone, I’d try to be them, not me.
- I have simplified. Simplifying was a process I started a few years ago. Now I’m down to the basics. This has given me time for reflection, for examination, and for doing the things I love.
- More and more, I tend to live in the moment. It is easier when you realize you don’t have that many more moments left, but this concept applies to everyone. We live, as I heard a friend say, on a precipitous perch.
- I judge less and try to love more. Honestly, so many things I thought were “wrong” or “taboo” in my lifetime has turned out to be simply my fault-finding mentality. I’ve had to ask forgiveness for my judgmental attitude so many times, I’ve decided to let God take care of his universe. My judgments have turned out far more shallow than his, and I never had control in the first place.
Maybe you are not gray yet, but if you live long enough, you will be. The “getting there” is a fun, but sometimes tedious process. Yet never stop growing, reflecting, examining, questioning, and sorting. Then, finally, you toss all that for a few simple life truths and go your merry way.