What Does Authenticity Mean to You?

There is one word that continues to show up in my life. This tells me that not only do I have "work" to do around this word and what it means to me, but that it is also a part of my purpose. The word is "authenticity," and it comes up a lot in spiritual circles. I try my best to remain authentic. Others thank me for my authenticity. Yet others continue to tell me to stop doing or saying certain things, which inadvertently keeps me away from my authenticity. I don't think they understand this. For a long time, this dynamic confused the heck out of me and still does, quite honestly. So much so that I went and looked up the definition so I made sure I wasn't deluding myself. If I am acting in a way that is true to myself instead of doing what someone else suggests, doesn't that mean I am staying authentic?

"Authentic" is defined as: “not false or copied; genuine; real.” or “representing one's true nature or beliefs; true to oneself or to the person identified.”

As you can imagine, this creates a conundrum. Please avoid and be aware of people who tell you how to speak and behave, yet tell you in the same breath to keep your authenticity. That is an oxymoron. Even if I am acting in a way that is not of my highest potential sometimes, I am at the very least, still being ME. I don't feel it is up to anyone else what we choose to say or do and when because those are OUR lessons to learn on our own time. It is also up to us what we choose to share publicly or with certain people. Telling others to only behave in certain ways seems to be yet another method of control, censorship and projection of how one needs to conduct themselves based on what SOMEONE ELSE thinks. Not to mention, when we do this, we are interfering with that person's possible soul contracts and soul lessons. If this advice is ASKED for, well, then totally different story, but even then, this is a very slippery slope and the person must have enough confidence in themselves to know what is truly theirs and what is coming from the opinions and beliefs of someone else. If you are not steadfast in your own beliefs systems and morals, you can easily be swayed into being a different version of yourself to please others.

Throughout my spiritual journey, I have shared EVERYTHING online. Some have praised this. Some have frowned upon it. I don't really do it for the approval anymore, even though I think that is what I was looking for (subconsciously) in the beginning of my journey. I write it all out for myself more than anything else. It's how I process. I don't mind processing publicly. In fact, I think it is in sharing that vulnerability that others can see that they can be vulnerable too. Not everyone likes being vulnerable ... or sharing.

So it's the private people that have the most issues with my method. I have to understand and honor that. Yet it is the private people that turn into the biggest critics of those who share openly and honestly. These are the people who will rarely share anything about themselves publicly. They will cut you down for doing go-lives and posting things, yet you will rarely see them do the same. It doesn't make them any less. It doesn't make them any more. It is just a DIFFERENCE in how each perceives reality and how they execute it to others. I could just as easily say that they come off feeling cold and distant, but one has to look deeper than that. It is their CHOICE to remain private. It doesn't mean there is anything wrong with that person for making that choice. I wish both parties could see this. I don't see many "oversharers" out there shaming the quiet people though for not speaking up enough, so unfortunately, this is usually a one-way street.

I think the hardest part of this struggle is the back and forth. Many think that if you stand up for yourself, that automatically means that you care too much about what others think and that this makes you weak. If you truly didn't care, you wouldn't have to say a word, right? Wrong. One, you are HUMAN. Everyone cares to a certain degree. Don't lie to yourself. Two, some people can explain themselves without seeking validation or zero need to clear the air. You put it out there, you leave it, you move on. It's a way of moving FORWARD so that you can clear the slate FOR YOURSELF. Again, it all comes down to difference in how each person processes. Yet the question remains -- WHO keeps telling us to do and say certain things? This. This is the real problem.