Living an Authentic Life
By Tracy Webb
Why do we find it difficult to be truthful? What are we afraid of? Has our lack of honesty started to take its toll on us? It seems that most of us have our own agenda and persona we like to portray. It appears to be preferable to put forward an image of ourselves that we think shows us in the best light. Keeping hidden all the character traits we dislike and pretending to be something we are not. This can work to some degree, though ultimately we create a battle within us that we have to then defend. We feel not good enough and therefore have to justify ourselves and gain acceptance wherever we can get it. All this because we don't love and accept ourselves for who and what we are.
With total self acceptance there is no need to try to be something else, it doesn't matter. We can live from our hearts and in our truth. What could be more beautiful? When we can love ourselves and embrace all our qualities then there is nothing left to fear. Honesty is pure and not vicious when it comes from the heart. Mostly, this is a rare quality to find. We are not used to others being honest with us. This can cause some discomfort as we may feel upset or become angry by another's truth telling - especially if we feel that their words threaten or damage our ego in some way. Attack may follow, however, if we tell our truth with love then hopefully understanding, gratitude and healing will be the result.
We tend to spend our lives defending our position, as we have been bombarded with negative self beliefs about our behaviours and actions. From childhood we are either praised, criticised or condemned for our character traits. We learn from a young age that we are not acceptable as we are, hence the process starts to cover up all the undesirable qualities that we have been accused of. Imagine the freedom if we embrace and acknowledge those aspects of ourselves instead of covering them up. To be able and stand up and say this is me, I'm not perfect but neither is anyone else and I love myself anyway. To not care what others think of you, you have no control about what they think anyway so why spend time caring and worrying about it. Nothing will change - all that happens is that you feel bad and remain stuck in the game playing and unauthentic interactions that creates.
Denying the aspects of yourself deemed 'bad' creates an energy block within yourself and between you and the people you interact with. Your actions will be coloured by the belief you hold about yourself and will create difficulties with communications. During interactions, you will both feel a sense of uneasiness although neither of you will know why. The conversation will just not flow or feel natural. How many times have you been with someone who is saying all the right things, however their actions and body language are saying something completely different?
Untruths may be told as we try to project a positive self image to others, all the time knowing that the words we are saying are not exactly truthful or authentic. We are so afraid of rejection and not being accepted by others that we go to such extremes to be liked. The guilt that this generates is enormous and is also such a waste of valuable energy. Creating imbalances and stress on the body. All so our precious ego can be accepted by the world. This thinking is back to front. How can we expect anyone else to accept us when we cannot accept ourself? The situation is futile and our hopes of acceptance will not be fulfilled. If we do not feel acceptable we will never feel another's acceptance of us. It is a vicious circle.
We may feel that a little fib or white lie if used to protect someone (as we perceive) is ok. What is behind the fib? Why are we so scared to tell the person the truth? Is it for fear of hurting them? Believe me, the lie will hurt them more than the truth. If we feel that another person's reaction to a truth is going to be hurtful in some way we stop them from experiencing reality. It could be deemed as arrogant. How would you feel if someone was just appeasing you and not being honest? By acting in such a way we create more problems for ourselves and the person we are trying to protect. At other times we may not be totally honest for fear of loss. If we tell a loved one we are having an affair or have feelings for someone else then there is a risk of losing that person. The partner will feel that something isn't right whilst the other will deny and affirm that everything is ok. The energy imbalances caused by their denial will be felt strongly between you as a discomfort and mistrust.
When we think in these terms, it is apparent that we cannot please everyone or even anyone all of the time. No matter how 'good' we think we are someone will always find fault with us. We are not perfect. In fact Neall Donald Walsch stated that we are 'perfect by our imperfection'. All the personality traits and quirks that make us up also make us perfect as we are. Whatever situations we have drawn to ourselves is an opportunity to express love and honesty - a chance to live our truth in that situation. However, most people are happy to stay in their bubble being justified and given positive strokes. By acting in this way we are doing a disservice to them and ourselves. Being honest at the risk of losing everything, then all that is left is authentic. No fear just an expression of love and truth from our hearts.
What about people who take their personality traits to the extreme and commit crimes? The behaviour exhibited then is not authentic and not honest. It tends to be secretive and guilt or fear driven. Such actions do not come from loving and accepting oneself, they come from self hatred and are defence driven instead. They may be expressing their truth, however it is not allowing for another to speak their truth as they can be at the mercy of another's will and intention. Domination of another's freedom and personal liberties is not a product of truth telling. Care should be taken when being honest, the way that your truth is put across is crucial to the way it will be received. While always allowing the other to speak their truth and not feel threatened. Truth telling told from a place of defence and anger is as damaging as dishonesty.
We tend to create our own problems in life as we try to be something we are not. Projecting and protecting our image. If we loved ourselves and embraced each other's differences there would be no need for these fear based actions that we take. Life would be so much different and our communications would be more open, honest, loving and authentic. No more criticising and blaming others just pure acceptance, trust and love.