Always Be Authentic
This above all: to thine own self be true,
And it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man.
Farewell, my blessing season this in thee!
I had to laugh as I was looking for quotes for this post for one place, a person asked how could you not be true to yourself. I guess that does seem like an odd statement but in reality we do it all the time. We say we like things we really do not like because we do not want to hurt anyone’s feelings. We do not speak up when we should. We convince ourselves we are happy when we are not and I could go on with what people do but the point is that we are not always true to ourselves. Some are more true than others. I try hard to always be “just me” and to stand up for what is right and to not pretend to feel one way when I do not. I am a “what you see is what you get” kind of person. And I truly want that in the people I let close to me. I am:
“People tend to live life like theater, acting with masks that read other than what they truly are. So be true to yourself and to others, that way there is no confusion, no illusion.”
Have you ever seen the shows where they wear those masks and no one seems to have any expression? Could you imagine the whole world looking like this? No one would know what anyone was thinking and I wonder how many misunderstandings would we have? It would be like the things that happen with the written word.where you can not hear the voice or see the facial expression to know if the person is being true or not. And yet, many people wear a mask their whole life. It may show expression but it is portraying a person that is not authentic. I think a lot of politicians are this way. We see one side and that is to convince us to vote for them.
When we are not true to ourselves, then we allow what others think to define for us who we are. And if we are not true with ourselves, then we find ourselves following things without knowing if it is true or not for we have lost the ability to discern the truth from a lie. It is so easy to deceive ourselves and people do it all the time. They pretend to be what they are not, pretend things are fine when they are not and pretend what they are doing is alright when it is not. If we deceive ourselves, it would naturally follow, we would deceive those around us.
“The bright beautiful flowers and leaves you see on a tree is from the life and energy the tree receives from its root. The thoughts that settle in a man’s mind determine the way he acts, and the way he acts determines the way people see him, whether beautiful or ugly”
~ Maka, Ghana
Being authentic has a lot to do with being honest. Sometimes the truth is not what people want to hear but it should always be what we say. If we are less than truthful, then when we need the truth to count, no one will listen. Sort of like the boy who cried wolf once too often.
When people hear non-truths fly from someone’s lips or see by one’s actions too often, then they will not believe you when the truth does come out of your mouth.
“When a man who is honestly mistaken hears the truth, he will either quit being mistaken, or cease to be honest.”
When a person honestly believes something and finds out it is not true..they have two choices. They can either quit believing it and therefore no longer mistaken or they can be dishonest with themselves and carry the charade on. The authentic person will quit believing what they honestly thought was right but was proven wrong. They will change and grow because being authentic has to do with being honest in all things.
“It is better to be hated for what you are than to be loved for
something you are not.”
I am a person that will not jump on the bandwagon just because everyone else is. And if I do stand behind something, it is because I believe in it. And if I find that what I perceived as the truth is not, then I opt for the truth and quit standing for whatever it is that I was promoting. I believe we are given minds and the ability to think and we do not need to be led like sheep. We need to use our minds and our values. But, many people are swayed by peer pressure and go along with the crowd, even when it does not feel quite right because they are not being authentic. They are not being true to themselves.
“Being authentic is the ability to be true to oneself. Living an authentic life requires the ability to be true to our own wants, needs and desires and not live our lives by the opinion of others. Being authentic is the ability to make self-honoring choices and stand firmly in who we are in our core. Being true to ourselves gives us the insight and compassion to see others for who they are, not who we expect them to be. It frees us up from the judgment of ourselves and others and it gives others the freedom to be themselves as well.”
~ Victoria J. Reynolds
It is so important that we be authentic for our kids. I wanted my sons to grow up to be above all else good, honest, hardworking, moral men and they are. But, I realized I had to set the example. If they saw me not being true to myself and if they saw that I was not authentic..then I was leading them down the wrong path.
“What usually has the strongest psychic effect on the child is the life which the parents have not lived”
~ Carl Jung~
Only one person can do the job for us and that is ourselves. We have to be willing to look inside and see our soul and know what we are and who we are and stand up for that. It does not matter what others try to make us, it matters only what we try to make ourselves and that should be “authentic”.
When we are not true to ourselves, it affects all of us and those around us. It affects our health for when we go against what we believe, it comes out in physical ways. Just think about when you are upset or nervous and get a stomach ache. The mental affects the physical in so many ways.
The great majority of us are required to live a life of constant duplicity. Your health is bound to be affected if, day after day, you say the opposite of what you feel, if you grovel before what you dislike, and rejoice at what brings you nothing but misfortune.
After a while, we may begin to believe we are what we are pretending to be and lose ourselves. I truly wonder if this is what happens when people say they need to step away to “find themselves”. Have they discovered that they were not authentic and are searching for the authentic person inside themselves?
We are so accustomed to disguise ourselves to others that in the end we become disguised to ourselves.
~François Duc de La Rochefoucauld
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