Living with Authenticity Requires a Great Deal of Courage
“The ego must hide all that we believe is unacceptable about ourselves. To accomplish this task, it constructs a mask to prove to others that we are not as defective, inferior, worthless, and bad as we might fear we are. None of us likes to admit that we have these flaws and insecurities, so to hide them, we create a persona at a very young age. We start to wrap ourselves up in a new package that we believe will bring us the love, attention, and acceptance that we hunger for. We create personas so that we can belong.” ~ Debbie Ford
Accepting ourselves, dropping our masks, feeling free to be who we really are…requires a great deal of courage. Self-acceptance involves an awareness of our strengths and weaknesses, and the ability to forgive ourselves for past choices and mistakes.
Searching for Self-Acceptance and Living with Authenticity
*This is (an edited) part of a letter written to a friend. I thought you might need to hear it too.
I am going to tell you something and I hope you are ready to hear it…
You are afraid. Afraid to live an inauthentic life, but also afraid to show your true self. You are terrified that if a person discovers the real you, they will reject you. You fear you are deeply flawed, and no one can truly love the “real you”.
I understand this, because I feel it too.
And so you wear your many masks. And it makes you tired.
You are tired of so many things…
Tired of not complaining too much.
Tired of smiling politely and nodding your head.
Tired of being a good listener, and ignoring what you want to say.
Tired of striving.
Tired of being strong.
Tired of stretching yourself so thin that any little thing might cause you to break.
Tired of not saying how you really feel because you don’t want to upset, hurt, disappoint, anger, annoy, or inconvenience others (and to avoid the conflict, because sometimes it’s all just too exhausting.)
Accepting Ourselves (Imperfect as We Are)
With so many masks to wear and roles to play, sometimes you forget who you really are. (Especially as mothers and care-givers, we do forget who we are.)
So, take some time and ask yourself, really ask yourself –
Who am I?
Who are you, really? What is your purpose? (Look to your strengths, they will guide you.)
What excites you, what makes you feel alive and real and connected to something bigger than yourself?
Surround yourself with the right people.
For too long you have believed the lies – others telling you that you are weak, broken, stupid, and ugly. You are none of these things.
Keep learning, stretching, and striving.
Feel the fear, and be yourself anyway. Because you are a beautiful person. You don’t need fixing or changing. You are beautifully flawed, just as you are. I’ve seen you shine.
You will find your way again my friend. You will discover answers. You will feel joy, excitement, connection, and meaning again. I know you will. Don’t give up on yourself.
You are beautiful, strong, loving, courageous, and a joy to be around.
With deep affection,
The Most Important Thing
We all want to feel accepted as we are.
We all want to feel seen, and to know that we matter.
The most important thing you can do for someone you care about is to show up and allow them be real – and to know that they have been seen and heard by you.
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