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Welcome back! I hope you're enjoying this walk down love's lane with me. Today I want to touch on authenticity and it's all mighty role in our every day lives and how it comes to play in our relationships.
To be genuine, to be authentic to be your true self... Um... Okay what does that mean? Well first lets look at the opposite, as stated by Jim Carrey
"Depression is your avatar telling you it's tired of being the character you're trying to play." I know, depression can take many forms and have many causes. How about that happiness=reality/expectations? The closer your expectations are to your reality the happier you are. Alright, enough with the quotes. Put simply, being authentic is being your honest, true self. And if you aren't being yourself in your relationship things will break down, guaranteed.
Here's the beauty and simplicity to that statement. No one gets to decide who you are. No one gets to decide what you should like or shouldn't. How to act. How to live. You are given all of the power, and it can be scary to accept that... To accept you have total control over love. You have a choice.
Here's the not-so-nice side to that statement. Just because you decide to take the power and truly be who you want to be, doesn't mean people will automatically accept you. Even the people you thought loved you most in the world may realize you are no longer serving their needs (refer back to article number one on unconditional love). People may judge and disagree with you for many reasons. The judgement of others is probably the biggest reason we are afraid to be who we truly want to be.
Now if you are in a relationship the person should love and accept you right? (The answer is yes. There is no gray area here.) Yet, the balance between selflessness and selfishness can be tricky. Authenticity is all about me, me, me, and not we, we, we (at first). So, where do we draw the line? I believe the answer is simple to understand, but incredibly difficult to implement.
I believe that in true love there is no compromise. Actually that's kind of intense, it's more like 80/20. If you feel like you are making constant sacrifices for the other person, you are constantly compromising more than 20 percent of the time. Something may not be right. If you are allowed to thrive and be your true self, it leads to a happier life, which in turn will lead to a happier wife. Sorry for the cliches. Put another way, when you are truly happy with who YOU are, you open a massive avenue of compassion and love for others in your life.
And with all things in life, communication is king. You HAVE to be able to tell your partner whats on your mind. Tell them no. Tell them I don't want to. I don't like that. If you don't feel comfortable saying that to your partner stop reading right now and go end your relationship. Dramatic? Sure, but life can be dramatic sometimes. Seriously though, if you can't be honest, if you can't show your authentic feelings to your partner, in my opinion, it's a toxic relationship. Your partner should be there to help you grow into a better version of yourself. They should support you. NOW. They may not agree with you, and again, being authentic doesn't mean they should automatically accept everything you do, but (80/20 remember?) it should not be a large portion of the relationship. Still following me?
I truly believe we have one purpose in life, to live as authentically as possible. The first step as with everything is figuring out exactly what that means. Once you've figured that out (and honestly congrats because that alone is a doozy), second is now spending the rest of your life figuring out how you can live/or continue to live that way. That is no small task.
So how can you live a long happy life if you can't be honest with your partner? If you can't be authentic with them, I would go far as to say they aren't really in a relationship with you. They're in one with someone you're pretending to be. That is not a sustainable way to live... Or love.
Now, if you aren't sure how to be more authentic, or you don't even understand a lick of what I'm taking about. There are many books out there on how to find your true purpose. Maybe I'll write an article on the steps to living a more authentic life. Regardless, it is something we should all be working on daily. I want to make one thing clear. Living authentically is a journey, something you will constantly and consistently be working on. It is not easy. Don't beat yourself up if you are struggling with communication, or how to share your true feelings, or how to be your true self. Most of us do. I remember going to therapist and getting my true self on the table with no judgement. I then felt so empowered I went home and had discussions with my wife. Which in turn, strengthened our relationship. Regardless of where you are at in life, it is a concept worth pursuing, I promise you that.
Being authentic takes a lot, a ton, a magnitude of vulnerability. Something just as important, and something I will discuss in the next article.
Hope you enjoyed the read!