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Thursday, February 11, 2016

The Authenticity of Being You


Most of us have heard someone refer to the company they work for, saying how excited they are to be working on the team, or to be a part of the company in question, and while I don't doubt that many of these statements are true, I also don't doubt that many are not. It's part of our culture to speak that way, and therefore many people say the right words in order to fit in.

We do similar things when we hold opinions (political, religious, or simply whether a movie or book was good or not), in order to fit in, all the while knowing that we have a different opinion.

Whether your fitting in has to do with your profession, your social set, your clique at your high school, or the ladies you lunch with, whether this fitting in has to do with the people you are on a cruise with, or at a cocktail party with, or whether it has to do with what you say when you participate in mass or a satsang, the important thing is how you feel as you do this fitting in.

How you feel can be determined in first instance by your gut, that second brain I referred to in an article originally published in 2004 and republished here in 2011: Introducing Our Second and Third Brains: We Do Think With Our Heart and Instinct, because your gut will let you know something is amiss (i.e., you are not being authentic to yourself) by some discomfort or twinging, and you may, in second instance, feel a similar twinging or discomfort in your heart, that third brain, or even in your psyche or soul if you are already attuned to it.

It's important to pay attention to those gut and/or intuitive messages - if being authentic or growing to be authentic is important to you - because if you don't change what you say at one point in your day when you feel said twinges, you will merely strengthen the inauthentic parts of you. This is not to encourage you to speak poorly of your firm (should the 'excitement' referred to in the first paragraph not be genuine), but to reflect on what it does to you to not be authentic. You might say it's like having a tiny bit of arsenic each day, and that, of course, will eventually do you in.

Authenticity is best practiced first in your personal life - although that can also be very difficult. Do you have that need to say or do what others say or do in order to feel accepted? Examine yourself and your life very carefully in this regard, because the less authentic you feel, as indicated above, the more the inner quality of your life can deteriorate.

This is a subject I've written about before, because it continues to be so important. Many people have lost touch with their own authenticity because they are so busy trying to fit in that they no longer listen to that inner voice. Trying to fit in is not a bad thing - it's simply something many of us get roped into without realizing it, beginning in our school systems (global), where it is so very painful to feel that you don't belong. The price we pay for belonging tends to be much higher than the brief benefit we get from feeling accepted. This, as so much else, has much to do with how well we love, accept, honor, and approve of ourselves.

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