of undisputed origin and not a copy; genuine.
This is a subject that I find really difficult to personally reconcile. We were all born unique, genuine. Of undisputed origin. We were all born a total, one of a kind piece of art. So what happened between arriving in the world as a divine miracle and a unique set of DNA to standing in a networking event exaggerating my pants off to make myself seem interesting?
Who told us we need to be more than we are to gain the approval of others? To be interesting. Our parents? Society? Religious Communities? Social Media? Celebrities? All of the above? We’re we born with this or were we taught it? Nature or nurture?
(as you can tell I have so many questions on this subject!)
Nature. We abandon our authenticity to seek approval. We seek approval to fit in with the tribe because when we are in a tribe we are more likely to survive. It’s basic and instinctual and we are born with evolutionary instincts built into us. What we have to realise is that in modern life, we can survive very well outside of the tribe, or, we can create our own. We can show up as our most beautiful and authentic selves and still be loved by those that see us. For someone to see your vulnerability and authenticity is precious and powerful.
Nurture. We are also taught to conform from very young ages, especially as women. Authenticity takes a phenomenal amount of confidence. To peel back your skin and show people your truest self takes balls of steel. Through our formative years we are constantly told that we are not good enough until we have this brand of make up, this shade of tan, this pair of boots, that dress size, this diet plan, that length of hair. We are trained to seek external validation (and insubordination results in lonely lunch breaks spent in the science block toilets and no invite to blah-blah’s 16th birthday party). We learn from our mother’s how to twist an anecdote to appeal to each of our friends and paint on a smile, we learn from television how to exaggerate our truth and we learn from social media how to only ever display our best highlights reel to the world. No one wants reality. It’s frightening and hard. Maybe we need to be frightening. Magnificently frightening.
So, grab yourself by the horns, question what you think you know and step out of whatever race you think you are meant to be in. This does not serve you. Stop trading authenticity for approval. Be still and dig deep, sit with yourself and unpick your truth. Sinking down into ourselves, that’s where you find it. That’s where ‘you’ resides.
Sit comfortably. Let your lower back relax into something soft, your shoulders release and your eyelids close. Take a few large, deep belly breaths. Sink down into your self. Think about a moment where you were truly and authentically in love with yourself, where you deeply felt like the person you were born to be. That completely unique and conscious being. Think about what you were wearing who you were with, where you where and what you were doing. Keep visualising that moment. Think about every detail, the feel of the clothes on your skin, the faces of the people you are with, the scent in the air, the taste in your mouth. Make this memory bursting with colour and sounds and smells! See it vividly and completely. Hold on to it and embrace what it feels like to be your true, authentic self.
Recreate this moment in real life. Repeat. Allow the way you felt to bleed into the rest of your reality. Walk inside your story.
Don’t live in perpetual reaction to someone else’s ideal, expose your own.