Authenticity is one of those fascinating subjects - an important part of the spiritual journey. The egoic mind feels threatened by it, because the true energy of authenticity means the demise of ego led behaviour. If we logic it solely through the intellect, then we can rapidly lose the meaning behind it. Authenticity is a simple way of being that rises spontaneously, without control, from the core...
What does ‘being authentic’ mean?
- 'Authentic' is a descriptive and powerful word, deserving the space to breathe.
So here I feel to shine a little light on the subject by sharing a perspective on what being authentic really means, perhaps even dispelling a few myths in the process.
'Authentic' means from the source or origin. Being authentic in a spiritual sense means 'as expressed directly from the source', through the soul. It is the raw, naked, unhindered expression of beingness of the soul. Authenticity is a quality of being. That’s why we say ‘being authentic’ not ‘doing authentic’.
Observing authenticity in others
One of the easiest ways to observe authenticity is to notice creatures in nature: a hedgehog, a squirrel or a butterfly. They have no agenda other than to be ‘who they truly are’.
They have an advantage over many humans, without the hindrance of an ego, showing us a great example of what it means to be authentic. Another great example would be a small child. There is often a time in a child’s life, before they are washed through with conditioning, fears and expectations, where they are free to simply be. They are real, liberated and authentic - for a while at least. People within indigenous cultures often exude authenticity - especially if they never lost their connection with the soul and the source.
We see authenticity in people from all walks of life - people who are just really comfortable in their own skin. They feel real and natural. They say it ‘how it is’, yet with compassion and awareness. These are the people we trust in life - because they are real.
- You can’t ‘try’ to be authentic. You can’t train yourself or follow a technique to learn. You can however, self-realise and allow your layers of baggage to fall away. In so doing, authenticity will arise more and more as a divine expression of your being.
Authenticity is all about the moment. It’s about now. It’s about presence. It’s not only seeing beyond the veil, but being beyond the veil and bringing that through to the experience of being human.
Authenticity is what is left over when the mind steps out of the way and let’s the soul shine through.
Authenticity is when you are being you, from the core.
Authenticity is pure beingness.
Accepting our darkness
It may be that you can't be fully authentic because a distortion is coming through. You might feel an authentic impulse, that becomes distorted by a filter. In which case, you have the option to be real at least. Being as real as we can possibly be, distortions n'all is a powerful precursor to authenticity. This means we are able to see how we are not being authentic and peel away those layers - leading to authenticity.
- It’s acceptance of all our inner darkness - each of us have it - and not being afraid of what others may think of us. It’s not placating others, at the expense of being true to ourselves. It’s not showing others our likable traits in order that they accept us, because of fear of being rejected.
It’s having the courage to be true to ourselves.
It’s not a doctrine of spiritual correctness!
Authenticity doesn’t mean that we always have to bare all either. Honesty doesn’t necessitate splurging everything out in a mighty torrent of emotion. It might mean that we have to be silent, to say nothing or that we are meant to contain our emotions; work with them ourselves, because it is not the right time to share.
- This is different to withholding because we are afraid of the consequences - but rather honouring what is divinely given in the moment. It may equally at times be totally in the flow to bare all, yet consciously, despite the perceived consequences.
Being authentic means that we observe what is appropriate for each given moment. Our actions are not dictated to by conditioning, fears or expectations. Every moment is unique and cannot be predicted, nor can the outcome of our actions.
Sometimes being authentic requires being the bearer of undesirable news. True compassion is finding the courage to do this because you know that it is the ‘right’ thing to do.
- It can be really tough being a messenger in the face of opposition, yet, that honesty may hold the key for a greater spiritual unfolding for others. It might be the most loving thing that you can do. (A little tip - letting go of the need for thanks, appreciation, the need for approval or to be liked helps a lot... The Importance of Feedback Loops for Energy Workers)
Authenticity will determine exactly what is meant to be shared. It will determine exactly how the energy is given. Being authentic requires the courage to deliver.
What get’s in the way of being authentic?
- Fear of what other's think of you
- Being swept along by other people’s energies
- Being trapped by others expectations - 'being labelled'
- The spiritual identity
Fear of what others think of you:
It’s difficult to be authentic if you are living in fear of what other people think of you. It may be a natural expression of your soul to be considerate and kind to others, but if you adjust your behaviours to keep the peace or please others so that they’ll accept you, then you aren’t being authentic.
Being authentic might mean that the relationship no longer serves either of you and you go separate ways - an essential step forward to make space for new, more suitable friends who meet us where we are at. It may equally mean that the relationship evolves and you both evolve to a new level of connection together. Who’s to say! When we live in fear, we don’t get to evolve, we just run around in circles, recreating the same suffering for ourselves. We don’t get to be the authentic us.
When you live in fear of honouring your true expression, you create a dead feedback loop for your soul. Your energy is drained, because, energy that is not authentic can only ever be replenished by the mind or emotions (which are a limited resource) - whereas energy from the source is ever-present.
Being swept along by other people’s energies:
Some people are highly sensitive and lose themselves when around others. It may be authentic to harmonise and align with others, but their own vibration gets drowned out. They can no longer hear the voice of their own soul. They are swept along by the strong current of other peoples energy, unable to find their own flow.
It might feel like you have no choice, or that it’s just your configuration, that it's just the way it is - but there IS a choice.
It’s a matter of awareness and learning to honour your boundaries. Boundaries are important for highly sensitive souls. This takes practice. It involves continually bringing consciousness to your own soul and energy field when around others and then learning to tell the difference between you and them. It's knowing what’s yours and what’s someone else’s
(See article: Being an Empath for tips and advice for highly sensitive souls)
Trapped by others expectations - 'being labelled':
In personal relationships with family or at work, people often find that they’ve been categorised and labeled. People are typically hemmed in and related to by the people around them, by certain behaviours, traits, gifts and faults, with very little room for change. Every engagement with you will confirm their expectations as they subconsciously re-affirm them.
I am incredibly blessed to live in a house where we respect one others constantly unfolding nature. We are continually evolving and growing, accepting change as a natural part of our evolution. A funny thing happened to me last month though, when I went to stay with my Mother. She’s a beautiful soul and very accepting of ‘me’, yet something from the old days slipped back in to highlight the incredible power of expectation - to keep me on my toes, I think!
I had jet lag and was feeling a bit wobbly after traveling half way around the world and flipping my body clock upside down. I’d randomly bumped into the door frame as my spatial awareness went to pot, to which with a smile, my mother cheerfully said: "you’ve always been clumsy haven’t you".
It threw me back momentarily.
- Have I always been clumsy?
Am I clumsy?
Something from my childhood perhaps.
But is this really me?
Something didn’t feel quite right, yet my reality was being presented to me under no uncertain terms. I sat with the notion, paused for a while and then replied... “actually, I haven’t really been clumsy for a long time now.” The truth is, I DID used to be clumsy though! At home I had a reputation for bumping into things. It was expected and reaffirmed light heartedly throughout my childhood. It was my reality. I even remember being given a mug with Mr Bump on it (Mr Bump is a sweet clumsy cartoon character, who bumps into things a lot, covered with bandages). I used to smile all the time too, I had many positive attributes, but I didn’t get ‘Miss Sunshine‘ - I got ‘Mr Bump’! So, I was clumsy.
At the age of 26, it suddenly dawned on me that I had a choice. I didn’t feel at home here on earth. I was ethereal in nature and had little reason to be embodied, naturally living out of body, ungrounded, living in the ‘clouds’. Expectations of who we are, as projected by those around us, can silently bubble in the background without us realising it. We are all aware that if you tell a child he’s naughty enough times, eventually he’ll believe it - the same can be said for just about anything.
When we become aware, we can do something about it. So, in my twenties, I stopped letting others determine my reality and over time became present, aware and you guessed it, embodied. The clumsiness (which was never ‘really’ me, but a tool of deeper self realisation) fell away almost instantly.
The spiritual identity
This is quite common in the spiritual world.
I’ve often seen the spiritual identity acting ‘authentic’. This happens when an ego/false self or shadow of the soul, knows exactly how authenticity ‘should’ look like and emulates it.
This is one of the biggest pitfalls in the modern spiritual movement. The problem is that a spiritual identity emulating authenticity may carry a vibration that is closely aligned with the real thing - because a fragment of the soul is embedded. It always has a fabricated undertone though and from presence can be spotted a mile off.
Swinging too far the other way
Of course, it’s common that when people realise they are ‘people pleasing’, ‘trapped by expectations’ or ‘washed through with other peoples energy’, the spiritual identity can then swing in completely the opposite direction, in a valiant effort to rebalance and make up for lost time.
So I have seen people pleasers become incredibly selfish. I have witnessed people who have been brain washed or hurt in some way, reject just about anything with authority. People liberated from being trapped by others expectations also run the risk of becoming thwarted by a false sense of self empowerment.
- Beware of over compensating with stubbornness! It’s understandable, but not authentic.
It can be useful to swing the other way for a short while, to feel the polarity of the distortion. It can help to shake off the distorted behaviours. Although why replace one distortion with another?
Natural evolution of the soul
The wonderful thing is that authenticity is our natural state of being. It is boundless. It's the return to who we truly are. Our soul will, one way or another, always urge us back to our true and authentic origins. If we can allow anything that is not us, simply to fall away, we can be who we are divinely given to be.
Once we realise, we need not wait a moment longer.
Soul to Soul