Who are you really? Are you living life true to self? These questions can help us determine our level of self-awareness and put us face-to-face with the possibility of the need for change in our lives. Is it ever too late to change? Are you dead yet? If the answer to the last question is “no”, then the answer to the former question is “no” as well. Authentic living, or being true to self allows us the opportunity to live out our truth, the freedom to be who we are on the inside without the need for facades and labels we have donned and embraced.
Each of us consciously and subconsciously decides what will make us acceptable within the world and the microcosm of the world we live in; our family, our group of friends, the workplace and the community. The decisions we make about our acceptability often are a result of labels and the expectations others have for us. At different times throughout our lives we adopt new facades and accept labels others have attached to suit their expectations for us. The labels don’t always fit, yet we often let them define who we are. Facades are the masks we wear to fit in, to present ourselves acceptable in any group or situation, and often they change from group to group, situation to situation. But, do labels and facades represent who we really are on the inside, the spirit and soul who live in the earthly body? Most of us would probably answer a resounding “no”. In essence, we willingly exchanged who we are for who others have decided we are. Often, those whose labels and facades bear negative connotations find themselves at war with self, sadness sets in as they wish the true self was as acceptable to others as the labels and facades have become.
Various definitions exist for authentic living; it is up to each of us to decide what it means to live authentically. For me, sorting through who I am versus who others believe me to be is primary. Self-discovery, in other words. What do my values and beliefs say about me. Which are from what I have been told to value and believe and what I actually value and believe? What patterns of behavior am I repeating over and over that have not served me well? We need to find what resonates with us as individuals. Looking at the totality of our lives we often discover a theme we tend to gravitate toward, a passion where our souls and spirits find the most peace and satisfaction. Should we change careers? Maybe, maybe not. Perhaps there is a way for a passion to become a career and that may take time to develop, but often if and until the passion becomes a career we can still find a way to include the passion in our lives.
When I took a look back at my life two overriding themes emerged: healer and teacher. In one capacity or another, in play as a child and in career as an adult, I found myself living out variations of healer and teacher. The career choices haven’t jibed with inward satisfaction, however. I have enjoyed being a nurse in various capacities, and it certainly encompasses both healer and teacher, yet the inward satisfaction was missing. Ignoring the nagging thought I wasn’t where I was most satisfied and peaceful, I decided it was a matter of finding my niche and then satisfaction and peace would follow. Recently, I studied energy healing and became a Reiki practitioner. In sessions with those seeking healing of the mind, body and spirit, my spirit is settled and at peace. Writing, and eventually speaking engagements, provide the same peace and satisfaction. It is to this place I am headed.
Authentic living is like coming home, and yet it has its drawbacks. It can be a lonely place until we regroup and find other like-minded people. People prefer to see us through the lens of their expectations and this is often antithetical to the true self who is taking center stage. Those we considered friends, and even family, may fall away not understanding our shift in beliefs, values or attitude. At some point however, the need to live from the spirit outweighs the need to be a part of the crowd. Quite truthfully, I never have felt like part of the crowd.
Are you living life true to self? Do you feel like there is a more authentic self waiting to emerge? Are you beginning to see patterns in life that seem to repeat themselves over and over? These and others are the call of God to human spirit. Will you answer and live out your spirit truth…..?