Sunday, March 1, 2015
A Life Lacking Authenticity = A Long, Dark and Lonely Road
I was reminded of these thoughts yesterday while out and about. A simple thing no one but my partner and I noticed, but there was a woman walking down the street. She wore brightly colored clothing that did not match. It was partly cool ethnic, partly hippie and partly beach casual. Absolutely nothing in her attire was in sync; not the style, not the colors and certainly not the mixed prints. She was a beautiful woman I thought, maybe somewhere in her forties. My partner commented on her dress and wondered about it. I let my senses go out and feel for what it might be that gave her the inspiration for her choice in attire. Now mind you that I can only filter through my own perception of this reality I experience but what I felt was a spirit true to herself. I didn’t sense mental illness, lacking awareness of fashion, drug-induced ignorance, color blindness or anything else. I saw a soul comfortably walking her own way. And you know what? I respected and appreciated it so much.
Admittedly, I am a recovering co-dependent people pleaser. I have lived most of my life trying to be what every one else thought I should be from an A student, to a star team player to a perfect wife and mother. None of these things could I ever measure up to for long in the eyes of another. Eventually I’d fail to live up to an ideal and oh the wicked lashing I’d get then. Not from those with the expectations of me but from my own mind. That, in my opinion sitting here this morning, is the absolute worst.
Somewhere along the timeline of my life a feeling grew inside of my core that could no longer be ignored. I was tired of working so hard for an unachievable perfection that I nearly imploded and in that moment was true perfection born. I began to question why on Earth would I ever endeavor to be anything other than who and what I actually was? I realized that there was absolutely nothing wrong with me, my choices, or my desires for my own life, (except for the minor point that I had no clue what any of that was).
As I look back on my life I see so much of the authentic real person within me who tried so hard to fight its way out of my ego’s seemingly forced invisibility. There is such a thing as an inverse ego. It is a very fragile one as are most wounded egos. But something within me kept begging for cognition, awareness and the desire to throw away invisibility and anyone or anything that required that of me.
I spent years then trying on new things to see if it felt right and good and in the process, did the best I could to raise my children the way I thought best despite the frustration of the expectations of others, despite the lectures and the “you oughtta’s.” I became a self-made success nearly in spite of myself and that’s kind of funny to me. By sheer force of will I reduced all barriers to mere rubble so-to-speak and I forged a new path if even in pure darkness and eventually as the twists and turns of my life completed themselves, I came to the tiniest glimmer of light from deep within. I no longer question who I am and have come to learn that I need not worry so much about what others think because they don’t define me, I don’t define me. The part of me that would try to define me is only my ego and it is incapable. So, I have learned that I am of two minds in a very interesting and psych-spiritual-philosophical way. I see myself getting caught up in things and I pull myself out with rational thought and a true sense of authenticity but usually not unscathed. But those scrapes, bumps and bruises from exploration have taught me what I am not by process of elimination. Some of you may identify with that process of learning. It is a very interesting path to say the least!
I rebel against the idea of dictates towards me now near automatically. I work very hard to quiet the voice inside my head that tries still to tell me who and what to be and well, how to do it even. I grapple and struggle with that voice that says, “No, you’re wrong, you can’t do that and you’ll never make it this way or that way.” I struggle with that voice because I see its true origin – again, malware in the psyche. It’s not mental illness per se. This is more environmental psychology – along the lines of the natural effect of living in a perfectly imperfect world with individuals who did not understand a human being’s true potential.
Every single soul on the planet does the only thing they know how to do…even when they are doing things morally judged as wrong, mean, horrible, awful, insulting, demeaning, etc. We all have choices to make in life; including how to manage the effects of our own very personal environmental psychology.
Walking your own path in life can sometimes be a lonely experience. When you refuse to conform to societal norms or enforced conformity for the ease of others, life takes on a new meaning and the challenge that arises becomes an invitation to climb. And by climb, I mean climbing out of the pit of other’s ideals of who you should be and embracing the true authenticity within you, accepting yourself exactly as you are and loving yourself despite any lingering traces of a voice whispering negative thoughts to thwart your progress. The lonlier path truly is complacency, sleepy conformity and ignoring your own true inner feelings and spiritual urgings.
Being authentic means you have found your true inner voice and it will no longer keep quiet. You can recognize the true inner voice by the way that it speaks to you so that you can feel the purity of the flow within you. This is the voice you can begin to recognize as the higher part of the self guiding you up and out of the lower designs of the ego. The ego is not to be destroyed mind-you, but rather understood and then transcended. Old paradigms of thought and outmoded methods of activity can be overcome when you grab hold of those few precious nano seconds between judgment, emotion and action. The span is so short from a human timeline perspective that if you remain asleep and unaware that such times are a gift in which you can step out of normal reaction and into, instead, understanding and thoughtful response, you might miss a beautiful opportunity to truly see yourself just as beautifully as you are. It is absolutely amazing the way you can truly feel living life honestly from a place of authenticity.
Why does this matter, I often write in my posts. I want you to think for just a moment about why this matters. If you live the life someone else designs for you – even if that design comes from your own ego spurred on by environmental psychology and unconscious malware, this is a recipe for a very unhappy and unfulfilling life. I don’t want that for myself certainly and I don’t want that for you either. I can pretend I am a teacher of sparkling and impeccable thoughts and actions but that would be a lie. I teach from the heart by real experience that I have been through, that I grapple with and that I succeed at if even painfully sometimes. I like to find meaning in the ugliness and take it as a personal challenge to find some shred of beauty in it no matter how long and hard I must contemplate, reflect and adjust my sometimes-myopic vision.
This is one incredible ride…life. It is meant to be lived from the heart and soul of you. When you can determine that which most prevents you from living life in joy from the truest center of your being, everything changes from the mundane to the extraordinary. You become (once again) extraordinary and the thought of that makes me smile. Blessings for your journey beautiful dreamers. Find that thread of authenticity fighting within you for conscious cognition. Give it a tug with a smile on your face and be willing to deal with all the stuff that falls out. It’s that “stuff” that you must wade through and clean up to get to the good stuff in life. Be fearless and courageous. You were born of the stuff of the stars that shine so very brightly. Live your life like you mean it straight from the heart. Much love and light always and in all ways. And, So, It Is!
© 2015 Jaie Hart (photo and words)
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