I know now that striving to live authentically is an evidently more joyful and a far more beneficial way of living, yet it wasn’t always so plain or natural for me at one time. However, since I have been awakened to the path of self-discovery, I’m more consciously aware of how lackluster my inauthentic life actually was.
Authenticity is a quality I’d been missing for much of my adult life, and this missing component was detrimental to my overall well-being!
Sadly, for years I lived in a world of illusion translated by marketing executives. They paint a picture of what “enjoying life” looks like and many times I fell for it hook-line-and sinker. I spent years hiding from my true self, deaf to my calling and blind to any genuine purpose.
I was ensnared in a system that reduced me to a cog in economic wheel. Money, and how much or little I had of it, defined my self-worth as I was hopelessly devoted to an endless cycle of joyless labor and mindless consumption. I learned to believe that the person with the most toys wins!
The powers that be may have created and administered the game, but I still chose to be an active player on a mission seeking MVP status - in vain. So, I must concede that they can’t possibly receive all the blame. Society taught me and reinforced it.
I’m liable for looking on with envious eyes at what others had and did, measuring myself against their achievements. I was haunted by past failures marked by an endless line of fits and starts punctuated by unrealistic desires and expectations. The choices I made were conceived through the lens of unfocused intention. I had dreams with no plan of how to realize them, and blindly pursued objectives that often led to blank walls.
“Vision without action is a daydream – Action without vision is a nightmare.” ~ Japanese Proverb
UNHAPPY IN MY OWN SKIN
I lived a significant part of my life seeking the approval of others, preoccupied by social peer pressure. Ultimately, this led me to literally being something I was not, a person I was displeased with existing in a state of unhappiness. But I wanted to be happy and I wanted to be comfortable living in my own skin. The only way to do this was to muster the courage to practice being genuine. But how?
I think it has to do with:
1. Having my actions and words match up with my beliefs and values.
2. It’s about doing MY thing, being who I want to be.
3. Following MY passions instead of being an imitation of what I think I should be or behaving in a way society suggests!
4. Learning not to look outside of myself to find self-fulfillment, gratification, and approval.
5. Not allowing myself to believe that anyone else is inherently smarter, more talented, and that I was somehow less than and could never measure up.
I now look at my inner worth and take the time to REMEMBER who I am, decide for myself what my values are and what I believe in. I had to evaluate whether I wanted to continue to live that life as a cog in the machine, or if I wanted to live for myself pursuing my goals and purposes and not those of other people.
I had to come to grips with the undisputed truth – I AM ME! And this truth will set “me” free.
It is an amazingly empowering feeling to take the time to sort through your basic belief systems to craft an inspired life. To determine which of your judgements and assumptions are coming from a mature and healthy place, and which ones are coming from a childhood place of anxious insecurity.
I feel so vibrantly alive and filled with purpose by expressing my natural gifts, connecting with others, and forming a habit of giving unconditionally. It’s a beautiful thing to inventory one’s own likes and dislikes and realize that what works for others is fine for them, but it doesn’t have to fit for me. It’s fantastic to realize that this is my life, my unique experience, and it’s not necessary to duplicate someone else’s.
I am giving myself permission to focus on the things that resonate for me and to pursue those things with confidence.