The authentic self is the soul made visible. – Sarah Ban Breathnach
Life is a series of conscious choices. Every moment present us with an opportunity to choose to be authentic. Merriam Webster defines “authentic” as “true to one’s own personality, spirit or character.” To me, living authentically means making choices that are in alignment with my value system. It means taking responsibility for my life, and for my choices.
It’s easy to blame things outside ourselves when life isn’t going the way we want it to, whether it’s the governemnt, the weather, or other people. We can’t control everything. Life happens, and trouble finds everyone at some point. Life is not meant to be perfect. But we can control how we react to life as it happens to us, and by making conscious choices, one moment at a time, we eventually create an authentic life for ourselves.
This often means listening to our own counsel, rather than to the advice of everyone around us. It may mean making choices that may be frowned upon by society. It may mean questioning the status quo.
These days, far too many people live fear-driven lives, only reacting to circumstances that are often perception and not reality. The media plays a key role in creating a fear-driven culture. I stopped watching the news several years ago because it kept me in an energy I did not want to live in, and it has made a significant difference for me.
Living a life spent in fear diminshes us. Sure, I worry at times. After all, there’s always plenty to be worried about: money, health, life, death. But I refuse to believe that real life is nothing but a reflection of a primetime newscast. Yes, bad things happen in this world, and people are drawn to drama and conflict. But there’s also compassion and kindness in the world. I’d rather focus on that.
For me, fear is one of the primary signals that I’m not living in alignment with my authentic self. Our true nature is based on the energy of love – a vibration that is aligned with universal consciousness, the Divine, Spirit, Source, God – whatever you choose to call it. Love cannot coexist with fear. They’re energetically too far apart.
The payoffs for living an authentic life are tremendous:
It’s a lot easier than the alternative. Constantly having to put up a fake facade gets exhausting. It’s really much easier to live authentically than to constantly pretend you’re someone you’re not.Not being true to yourself puts psychic stress on your system that can be as detrimental to your health as any other stress.
You’ll attract positive people. You will find that your tolerance for negative people who always complain about something will diminish. You will find that people who also view life authentically and with a “glass half full” attitude will naturally gravitate toward you. Misery loves company, and if you live authentically, you’re no longer an energetic match for the complainers.
You’ll be happier. Living authentically will make you feel more alive. Being who you are feeds your soul. You will think for yourself, be more optimistic, and make better choices.
Have you ever seen a cat who didn’t live an authentic life? They never hesitate to go after what they want, whether it’s your lap, the coveted spot on the cat tree, or the sun puddle. Not surprisingly, once again, as is the case with so many of life’s lessons, cats are the master teachers.
Photo ©Ingrid King