Living authentically is living dangerously. Playing it safe, just won’t cut it. You know the feeling: you put yourself out there, you say the thing you’ve needed to say for a long time, you unashamedly act on your own behalf. And then. Something happens. Silence. They are surprised. You are surprised. The wind changes directions, and the atmosphere settles. For a moment, you feel yourself grounded, strong and light all at the same time.
Then you realize the gravity of what you’ve done changes everything. Living your authentic life means you can’t go on living the way you used to. It means that you will have to be honest with yourself from this point on. And they might not like it.
You’re going to have to go against the grain, make waves, and disappoint people’s expectations of you. You’re going to have to say hard things, and choose honesty above courtesy, and stand tall even when you’d like to hide. You’re going to have to voice your opinion and stand up for justice and protect those weaker than you. This is risky business.
At first, they are not going to understand. they are used to the “old” you and this “new” you is confusing, and maybe a little threatening. They are afraid you’re going to mess up everything. Can’t you just go back to being like you were? You know, before you found your “voice?”
It’s going to take a strong will to live authentically. But, really is there any other way?
My authenticity has been tested lately. Life has delivered a few disappointments in the past month that challenged my sense of well being. I began to question my work, my calling, and my skill. My journal was full of questions and prayers and what ifs and whys.
I asked myself, “Can I be strong in the face of my own shortcomings?” I asked God, “Is accepting my weaknesses, my mistakes a way to make me stronger?” If so, I’m going to have BEHEMOTH strength! I’m going to be the best accepter-of-weakness there is!
Authentic Living is a both/and. It is humility and strength, truth and grace, sensitivity and firm resolve,
It’s God sense of justice and mercy embodied in love.
Authentic living pushes on- in the face of disappointments, letdowns and mistakes. There is no hiding or turning back with authentic living. Even when faced with “not getting picked,” or “being turned down,” or “being let go,” authentic living accepts the “what is” and hopes for the “what will be.”
Yeah, it hurts. And yeah, shame buttons get mashed. And yeah, self doubt comes a callin’. But authentic living keeps you showing up to life with that beautiful brave smile, and that quirky confident walk.
Because you’ve embraced the truth that authentic living is more about being real than being ideal. And although you might wonder, and doubt, and shout out loud- you also know that your voice matters. It matters in the valley and on the mountain top. God wants to hear that voice. When you speak authentically, it’s soul language to God. Soul language reaches further, produces more fruit and lasts eternally.
Authentic living may incur some judgment from others. Your authentic choices, boundaries and passion may trigger others in their place of shame. people will judge you for the thing they are most ashamed of inside themselves. The unhealed places inside of them will react with your healed places. Don’t judge them back. Don’t get mad. Accept that we are all in different places of authenticity. God’s in charge of them, not you.
Let’s walk this authentic living journey together. I love my big girl panties. They fit awesome. I’ll see you on the road!