What is authentic?
Day 228/366 days Towards Self-Mastery.
We have much to thank Brene Brown for her dialogue around authenticity. Yet it leaves me with a question. What does it mean, exactly, to be authentic, to show up as our authentic self, especially when we are crafting a business or a career, a place where the public eye is always scrutinising? Where there's always a judgement to be found.
I suppose it means to show up honestly, in which case it would be a mistake to think that a personality would be consistent.
If you've experienced any trauma at all in your life, and almost all of us have, then showing up authentically is going to be curtailed by split off parts of you that are yet to be resolved.
Attachment trauma is a case in point. A LARGE percentage of the population are impacted by attachment trauma at an early age. It's an intergenerational trauma that weaves its way through your family history, adjusting and morphing and never really healing until it's approached directly and deliberately.
There are shame-filled parts of my personality that don't want to get out of bed in the morning, anger-driven parts that abhor unfairness, escapee-parts that want to spend all my days learning something new, and terrified others that have their running shoes on and are ready for flight from judgement or criticism.
Authentic is defined by which part is in the drivers seat at any given time.
We are mistaken when we judge others lives and behaviours without a good knowledge of their story, and even with it! Those parts take time and energy and support to integrate, and without professional help, some of them may never achieve that.
To reach adulthood and to be continually judged as wrong or not good enough, is terrifying, unimaginably painful and destructive to the soul. Sometimes that judgement comes from within, learned and accepted as our truth. Often it is a reflection of another's own trauma pain. Neither makes it any less unbearable.
It's not enough to be kind. One has to do their inner work to cease re-traumatising themselves and others.
Sarah's message today is when you can't be original, be authentic. My message is, be the best authentic that you can, and if that doesn't feel consistent, seek support to integrate the parts of you that have split off to cope with your trauma. 🙏🏼
366 days Towards Self-Mastery
When I considered my New Year's intentions for 2020 I had just one: To allow my heart to love what it loved...and let it lead me. (If not now, then when?)
I've spent months working on integrating my life. To live life more fully with my home life, my interests, my work, my responsibilities, all coming together, all connected. I want to give each the attention that they desire and need, and still have time and energy for the others. That means living and working from the heart.
As I was clearing out my bookshelf over the Christmas break I discovered Simple Abundance. I set it aside to explore it on New Year's Day as I lazed through another delicious day of nothingness. Sarah, the author, says this book is about living in grace. Living in grace I realised, is about Self-Mastery.
My thirst for understanding the human condition has driven me all my life, and hand-in-hand with self-mastery it has been a life-long goal. And seeing as I love to write, that living in grace is about self-mastery, and I love a bit of a challenge, then if I am truly going to let my heart lead, I really don't have any other choice. So scary as it feels, I'm starting out on a daily mission of leaning into the suggestions of this daybook and making a daily post to keep me accountable. If not now, then when?
I'm Josie. You can find out a little more about me here.
Simple Abundance: A Daybook of Comfort and Joy: by Sarah Ban Breathnach.
This book is written for the Australian and NZ market because it refers to seasonal changes. It's available on Amazon here if you'd like to follow along.