What exactly does being authentic actually mean, and why are we all now striving so hard to achieve it? I know I am – are you?
One dictionary definition of authentic is “of undisputed origin; genuine”. The challenge many of us are having at the moment is that we are getting ‘authentic’ confused with ‘perfect’.
I meditated on it this morning and asked to be more authentic. In my mind I was seeing a ‘perfect’ me as I asked for authenticity. The Angels, however, told me that being authentic is loving ourselves and bringing it with everything that we are, not everything that we hope to be! Authentic and loving go together, authentic and perfect do not!
Some people say they want ‘the authentic experience’ when they are on holiday/on vacation, but this is a great example of many of us getting authentic confused with perfect. An authentic holiday comes with all the hassles of everyday life for where we are going. At the moment there are tube strikes in London (tube = underground/subway). I’ve lived in London and had to travel home on many occasions when there has been a tube strike. It’s a real pain, but if you happen to be visiting London when there is a tube strike it’s the real thing – an authentic experience of London! Most people would moan about being caught up in it and wish they were anywhere else but in London at that moment – perfect it ain’t, but genuine it is!
That’s why so many people are desperate to be more authentic, without realizing that what they are really searching for is a better ‘me’, a better life, a better job, a better relationship. They aren’t visualizing genuine at all, but perfection. They see everyone else’s perfect life (so clearly demonstrated on Facebook and reality TV!) and they are desperate for that themselves.
Here’s the crunch though; by being more authentic, by accepting our imperfect-ness fully and without judgement, by loving ourselves just as we are – life will get better. The worst thing we can do is compare ourselves to others; it’s draining and the complete opposite of empowering. Most people with the ‘perfect’ house/children/career only show others what they want them to see and edit the heck out of their real life story. Remember that old adage – be careful what you wish for, because behind that perfect facade could be a family struggling financially, a friend battling depression, a work colleague battling anxiety.
At the end of the day authenticity really doesn’t mean being perfect. It means embracing our wholeness, everything about ourselves and moving forward in the world just as we are. From now on I won’t be striving for perfection, but I will be working towards loving my authentic self (bumps, lumps and all!).
Channelled by Karol O’Leary for the month of August, 2015
This month’s tag line is ‘coming home’. There will be a deep sense of familiarity this month. A sense of coming home. A sense of returning to something deep within you. A sense of reacquaintance. Going down a path already travelled. This is a process that is now taking place on a very deep, spiritual level. It is connected to the most sacred part of you, and you can go down this road as little or as much as you want.
You do not need to take one step if you don’t want to, nor push yourself at all. But if you do, you will be able to connect with parts of you that have been dormant, buried or shut off and you will have the opportunity to find out what is and isn’t working for you. In a nutshell, if you choose to walk down these paths this month, you can get back in touch with yourself on a deeper spiritual level.
However, a note of caution – if you try and see the whole month, try and deal with this all at once, you will be overwhelmed and you will get stuck.
Instead, take each day as it comes. Embrace the day and the lessons it brings – learn, remember and trust. If you do this, you will wake up each day with a sense of direction, a feeling, a knowing or a question. Don’t overstretch or overreach, let things come to you. Don’t try and force anything. Let things flow naturally. TRUST.
August’s energy may feel wheel-like; things coming full circle; a rotation, one bit at a time. As you go through the month and this process, there will be a very clear sense of questioning. Keep questioning, keep pondering, keep wondering. Is this good? Is it right FOR ME? How do I feel? Am I being true to my authentic self?
It’s a duality month; what happens on a day-to-day basis in your life won’t feel very spiritual, very familiar or deeply profound. But on another level an opportunity for wonderful changes are making themselves known. There will be a lot of different thoughts coming to mind during August – let all questions come, let the energy flow, keep the lines open.
Have a wonderful, Divine month.
As I pulled onto my driveway this morning I noticed a lone gardenia flower – just one from the ten or so plants we have out the front. On first glance it seemed very insignificant – a spot of white amongst all the green – but it caught my attention and it beckoned me. It was saying ‘just because I’m small, just because you can hardly see me, just because I’m on my own I’m still here, I’m alive, I’m beautiful’.
I grabbed my camera and came back outside to take some photos. I started off a way away and then got closer as I took more photos. As I did so the flower seemed to glow even brighter and, as I took some up close, it showed me it’s beauty, it’s wonderfulness and all it’s glory. It glowed with a Divine light.
What struck me to begin with was that this flower was saying to me that it dared to stand out, it dared to be different from all the others. Telling me so what if you are different – dare to be different. So what if you are on your own – dare to stand out. So what if you are not seen by many – dare to be seen by some. It was speaking to that part of me that feels vulnerable, feels exposed, feels anxious when I’m trying to do something different, something ‘out there’, something unusual and it was letting me know that it’s ok, it’s ok try different things, it’s ok to stand tall, it’s ok to be seen.
But then something else occurred to me. This flower wasn’t trying to be different, this flower wasn’t standing out because it was daring to, this flower wasn’t being brave. This flower bloomed because that’s what flowers do. In a nutshell it did what it does and that’s the beginning and the end of it. Nature doesn’t hide, nature doesn’t have issues, nature doesn’t play games. All nature does is be and it provides such a wonderful lesson for us. A gardenia flower will always be a gardenia flower. It will never try and be something different. It will never try and be a rose, an orchid, a sunflower. It will always be what it is and nothing else. it grows as it always grows. Just as it’s blueprint is encoded with a pattern for growth, flowering and nurturing, so it does just that.
If we can get in touch with our blueprint, our unique design, our identity at the most fundamental level then we can be who we really are. We can do what we do and that’s it. Looking to be something we are not, trying to be like everyone else, trying to go against the natural flow of who we are isn’t healthy and is never going to bring us inner peace.
Try and spend a moment doing this one thing today – take a step back and mentally do a quick self-check. Are you speaking from the heart? Are you being true to yourself and your values? Are you coming from a place of kindness and truth? If the answer to any of these questions is no, take a moment to ask yourself what you can do differently and then make the changes so that you are aligning yourself with who you truly are.
When one door closes, another door opens. How many of us have heard that expression? More of us than not I’d say and probably most of us have said it at one time or another.
What though if one door has closed but the next one hasn’t opened? What if we were expecting it to open by itself, but instead find we have to walk up to it and do it ourselves? What if we have our hand on the knob but can’t bring ourselves to turn it, for fear of what’s on the other side?
The fear of the unknown can be far worse than the thought of another door not opening for us. Sometimes though, even though we may be really scared, all we need to do is open the door just a bit and the light will come flooding in. It’s certainly not as frightening as throwing the door wide open and, lets face it, how many of us are going to do that anyway – there could be anything behind that door! But just a crack isn’t so daunting and the light it lets in enables us to see so much more than when the door was closed. In fact, we may be amazed at how much light is coming through that very small gap.
Once we’ve opened the door very slightly, our eyes adjust to the new light level and then we may be able to open the door even more.
The pattern of light changes but it’s still there. It’s not so sharp, but there’s more of it.
Then, when we feel comfortable, we can open the door even more. After a while our eyes become completely accustomed to the light and we don’t even notice it any more. We forget how daunting it was just to walk up to it and how much energy it took to put our hand on the knob. Now it’s just normal – now we can’t imagine anything different – now we can’t even remember how we felt before we opened it.
Another thing to consider when we are facing a new door not yet opened; how lucky we are that we have one. Sometimes we are desperate for change and no door presents itself. If you are standing looking at a door now – unsure of what to do next – and you can pluck up the courage to open it ever so slightly, the light flooding in may light your way for years to come.
And what I hadn’t thought about until now is that the door, even when closed, often shows the light waiting to come in and it’s a lovely feeling thinking that the glowing light could be behind every door we’ve not yet opened.