What is authenticity? I think it's being willing to take risks and admit the ugly things our egos want us to hide through denial, lack of self awareness, or fear. I've been told by friends I'm one of the most genuine people they know but I still catch myself hiding, holding back, and being scared to be myself out of fear of rejection, etc. It's ingrained in us to people please since we were small. How is a doctor supposed to make the proper diagnosis and recommendations when they don't have all the information? How do we know our friends like us or who we're pretending to be? Why is being honest such a rare trait? I think we have to learn to be authentic and vulnerable with who we are if we have any chance at being happy.
Here's what I've come to believe about honesty versus dishonesty:
Dishonesty is a huge time waster and causes undue stress. For me, if I'm dishonest, I'll never know the truth because whatever I get was based on the false information I provided (like in the doctor scenario). If you pretend to be someone you're not, how will you ever know someone loves you? Talk about setting yourself up for misery. One time I showed up at a new guy's place I'd never met in sweats, no makeup, and my hair hadn't been washed in days (I was sick and he knew that and had invited me over as is) in a deliberate attempt to see if he'd like me despite. I could have taken a shower and dolled myself up, but ultimately figured, if he's ok with me looking like this, he'll definitely be ok with me all done up. I like to get the hard part over with right up front so, if it doesn't work, you'll know right away. But, if it does, it can only get better from there. I'm not talking about telling someone every little horrible thing about your life at first glance necessarily (although I kind of do that in this website, but that's for your benefit). I'm merely recommending to tell the truth. Let people know where you're at, what you think, and what you feel. If you're truly vulnerable, and they meet you at that heart level back, you've got something. And wouldn't you just love to surround yourself with others who meet you at the same level of vulnerability? If they don't meet you there, it's better to find out sooner than later. If you're lying, you'll always wonder when they'll figure it out. It's stress you don't need.
Vulnerability makes others want to open up to you. When you're totally yourself, you help others relax and feel they can be themselves with you too. It causes a deeper connection of trust and makes for a much more interesting time. You give them permission to embrace the totality of themselves as well. If they don't like what you're about, you just find new friends who do till you've found your "tribe" so to speak.
It's just the ego. That's all dishonesty is. The ego tries to trick us to play it safe all the time, but it's really just trying to keep alive. If we become free of the ego and essentially all that makes us overly identified as this person we are (the experience of pain) instead of the being we are beyond it, the ego has no place. How best to ensure its survival than to make you worry about how you measure up and whether or not you're approved of? One way of combating the ego is to respect and embrace it. It doesn't even take courage. It just takes shifting your priorities from ego-preservation to a place of embracing yourself both bad and good. Lucky for others, it happens to work in reverse as well. Accepting yourself allows you to accept others and vice versa.
Vulnerability makes you feel alive. Although true authenticity is enlightenment, we can get glimpses of freedom from taking these miniature free falls every day in as many ways as possible. I always suggest clients follow every "yes" - meaning, wherever you go, whatever you do, look at what in your environment is calling to you. It may be a bird chirping, someone wanting to connect with you, or a rainbow. But take in that yes fully. When you say yes back to yes, or yes says yes back to you, that's powerful and feeds the soul. It's invigorating to be vulnerable.
You can't be disappointed if you've got your own back. When someone says to me, "But you're so vulnerable. What if you get ridiculed, hurt, or betrayed?" like that would be the worst thing to happen. Those who get disappointed or hurt by being rejected or having a friend betray you and tell all their secrets just doesn't understand the way life works. Life is not about the shoe being about to drop and how to avoid that... it's about learning how to self-soothe and support yourself to the extent that, no matter what happens to you, you know you have your own back. You are your own best friend. You would see whatever happens as a good thing... not a bad thing. Have you ever noticed some of the best memories we share when we hang out with family and friends were when mistakes were made and someone was vulnerable? Know that everything always works out with your best interest in mind and you'll be safe from any seeming 'danger' out there. I encourage you to listen to my podcast on positivity or try the "Thank you, God, for my misery" exercise. How can someone ever hurt you if everything is perceived as good in your world?
Real power lies in vulnerability. The more vulnerable you are, the more powerful you are because you're free. I always tell my clients the most powerful thing they can do to protect themselves is to drop all stories and get in the moment. If a story persists, respect and embrace it completely then get back in the moment. Why? Magic happens in this place. There's an awesome quote from a wise man that says something to the effect of "When one turns his face to God, the whole world stops, turns, and begins conspiring to create miracles for you"... and it's so true. God is in that state of presence (The Kingdom of God is within). Turn to face God and all will work out in your favor. Trust me. I've seen it first hand time and again. The unseen world wants nothing more than to build our faith! Be brave, be bold, and go forth, my friends... and be a witness to this universal truth.
"Being vulnerable forces you to dive into the insecurity and bypass the ego completely. When you don't allow the ego to do what it wants to do, you go underneath it, essentially, into the total vulnerability which is like backing up into this spaciousness which is the identity which exists beyond your self concept... your eternal self. And the eternal self can then come in and start to parent the ego self." ~ Teal Swan
"Do you know why we fight against others? Because we're afraid to die. And only when you're willing to die do you know what it is to live. How do you surrender? Be willing to die... not physically, but psychologically and emotionally... let your fight die. Let your fight die or you will die fighting. And that, my friends, is the worst case scenario. Commit that no matter how scared, inferior, insecure, lonely, and vulnerable it makes you feel, you will let your fight die." ~ Matt Kahn, The End of the Old Paradigm
Please feel free to leave a comment below with any questions or feedback. Namaste.
SODALITE, SAPPHIRE, AQUAMARINE, BLUE TOPAZ, AND CHRYSOCOLLA = All great stones for communication. Use them to bring self-confidence when public speaking, to help you to speak up for yourself, to be able to explain things in an easy to understand way, to overcome shyness, to be able to speak more clearly and freely , to be able to express yourself better emotionally, and to improve your relationships by keeping communication lines open. These stones work best when worn as a pendant that hangs close to the throat, but they can also be worn as earrings, or held, or carried in your pocket.