Being Authentic

What does it even mean to be authentic? This phrase gets thrown around like a dirty panty nowadays. I think its become such a cliché already that people hear it but they don’t really hear it properly. What does this word “authentic mean? by definition : of undisputed origin and not a copy; genuine. Of course there are other variants to explain it in music and Philosophy , but ultimately its about not being a copy, its the real thing, the original, the first of its kind, nothing like it came before this original was made. It can be a document, a piece of art, or a person. It doesn’t matter because the authentic version of something is that thing in its true original form.

So here is the question that I have been asking myself. HOW do I find my authentic self? HOW do I break through the barriers of the copy I was molded into? HOW do I find me? The self outside of influence? I know that I have already shed many versions of myself that others have imposed on me and that I had unknowingly absorbed and taken in as who I’m supposed to be. The imposition is clear to me now more than ever as I look deeper into my core and discover unique things about myself that actually spark fear in me because I wonder how much more is hidden in the corners of my being that I haven’t yet discovered out of fear that I might ACTUALLY find myself in there. I used to be worried about what others will think about me and if others will like me or not, I don’t really have that problem anymore. My greatest fear now, is when I find who I’m looking for (ME) WILL I LIKE ME? The world has imposed so many beliefs and rules along with judgements and it has taught us to self loath. Only to remain in control of course, but when all you know is one thing and you realise that one thing that you know is not real. It can be shattering. It can destroy you if you don’t have the tools to rebuild yourself.

Being authentic is not Childs play. Wait actually it is, because when children play, they are lost in themselves, their true selves, their authentic selves. A world where anything is possible and dreams come true. Maybe in order to find our true selves we need to play more, laugh more, start looking for those things that feel real to your core. When your soul is at ease and there are no boundaries for you to follow except your own boundaries that are in your head, that were put there by outside influences. Once again (Authenticity lost).

As I journey through life on a daily basis to look for myself, I realise that I’m not lost, I am right here, with me always. I forget this regularly but it always finds its way back to me. Just because I have created these limitations for myself and do not show my true self even to myself, nevermind to the world, I am still here, I am still present. It doesn’t meant that I have lost my authenticity, it just means that its locked away behind many doors that I have to open in order to get to the core of me. But sometimes what’s behind each door is so scary that I run back out and lock it myself to look for an easier way, a way that scares me less. I have come to realise though that there is no easier way, there is no path to authenticity that will scare me less because if I want to face my true self and be that person, I have to face the demons that have taken me away from that place. I have to fight the battles, climb the walls and swim across the oceans to get there. If I really want to release myself from this prison that I have found myself in I have to fight a war, I have to win the war, even though I will lose some battles, I have to take those losses and use them to gain information to prepare for the next battle.

I have to remember that my mind is a place where many battles are fought, spiritual battles, emotional battles and even physical battles. It all starts in my mind and ends there. It all starts with a thought and is followed through with an action, but finds its way back to thoughts again. I can be all that I am for that moment and do the things that I live to do and in a moment because of a thought I can retract myself just as quickly as I freed myself. My mind is controlling the show here. I think what I’ve been missing for so long is that it is MY MIND, not THEIR MIND and certainly not OUR MIND. Its always been MY MIND.

My kid, ok my teenager has pulled out all the stops in bringing out different versions of me. I realise that it has nothing to do with her at all, she’s just being a teenager, it has everything to do with me, trying to do to her what others have done to me and impose my beliefs, thoughts, and ways of doing things onto her. She is her own person and she has her own mind. Her mind is not mine to control, but instead my role is to nurture her mind into understanding that it is 100% her mind and I am here to guide her, keep her safe and love her. But her mind is hers. Sometimes I feel like I’ve failed as a parent, but then I remember that I only feel this way because how to parent has been implanted in my brain by others. There is no right or wrong way to love a child into adulthood. Yes, we should be loving our kids into themselves, not fighting them at every turn to be what we want them to be. I know that many will disagree, but even Jesus did his own thing from the age of 12. He went wondering off on his journey, freaked his mother out completely (understandably so) and them calmly told her when she was freaking out that he was fulfilling his fathers will (GOD not Joseph). Lets be real, kids were getting married back then at 13. No I’m not saying I believe in child marriages, I think its disgusting, but what I do think is that we as adults need to give our kids more room to figure life out without our controlling fear that keeps them from finding themselves earlier instead of later on in life.

I know that the journey of self discovery for me has just begun a few years ago, ok more that 10 years ago. I’m still healing, searching and finding out who I really am because I’ve lived my life being someone that I am not for a very long time. Where my true self revealed herself every once in a while and even shocked me. But I was always behind the curtain, in the shadows watching other people live, hiding so nobody can see me, afraid, ashamed and lost in the darkness of the worlds impositions. My kid is 13 and she has already begun to look for herself, to try to understand life and to use the tools that I give her daily to find her authentic self, her self that is not influenced by me, her self that is true to her nature not mine. Look, I know that kids cannot be completely free of their parents, DNA plays a huge part in that they are literally a piece of us growing into themselves, a combination of 2 people and everything that came with those 2 cells that joined makes then their authentic selves. Therefore her true self is made up of her parents, combined with a twist of just her own spice through spirit and experience. If this is what makes up the person I am raising, then that would be the case for every other human being on this planet. We are an extension of our parents, a literal extension of them, their DNA combined, the cells in their bodies joined and made me, So in order to be my true AUTHENTIC SELF, I have to embrace that part of me too, I have to embrace that not everything I have from my parents was due to upbringing some of it is just plain old DNA. So in order to be me I have to embrace them, for who they are, not who I wish they were. And herein lies the secret that I was looking for in creating healthy family relationships. Differentiating between DNA and actual life choices.

My mind is my own creation, filled with reactions to things that I have been taught by the behaviours of others and filled with responses to the external world, with things that I HAVE TOLD MYSELF because that’s what I received from the outside world and that’s how I INTERPRETED IT. I am the creator of the things in my mind, and I am able to change the thoughts that I CREATED at any time.
My spirit is my life force, the essence of my being the part of me that I do not fully understand and I can only experience her fully when I’m in the quiet of my mind and if I dig deep into my being through quiet spaces of meditation and prayer. My higher self, the GOD that lives in me is reachable though this path, my soul the me that isn’t physical, the me that is purely spiritual, the me that connects to the sunrise and the sunset, to nature, the me that feels life coursing through my body with each breathe, the me that whispers to my ‘heart , the me that I don’t fully understand, the me that is connected to you, to GOD, to life itself. In order for me to be authentic I have to embrace this part of me, that many will disapprove of, disagree with, and I have to be ok with that. I realise that the path that I once took where I needed everyone to like me is not a path of authenticity, because if I’m going to stand for something I have to disagree with something and If I have to disagree with a thing then people will come at me to protect that thing that they believe in and I disagree with, and that has to be ok with me. A work in progress, but I’m well on my way to understanding that in order to achieve what I dream to achieve, I will have to accept that it comes with both positives and negatives. I read an article the other day about a man being gunned down while feeding the hungry. That right there tells me, nothing is forever, I can die walking to the bathroom, driving to work, I can even die while feeding the poor, so what would the point of living have been if I die without completely living as my true self, the me that I ACTUALLY AM, no matter who says what about it. People in biblical times died for their beliefs, I know we are not as drastic as that anymore, but I would rather die doing the things that make me feel alive, than keep living doing things that slowly kill my soul every day. Because then, what is the point of it all? Of life and death, of tears and laughter, of light and dark? What would the point of anything be if not just to be who we are and serve the purpose of who we are. We are killing ourselves to pay bills and we are running ourselves into debt to live lives that are really not our own. We are becoming prisoners of our own actions and we dig the hole deeper with every moment that we are not being true to the essence of our being. The core of our hearts and the foundation of who we are should never be built on the choices of other people, they should always be build on our own thoughts, our own ideas and our own beliefs for ourselves, with no outside influence. Then we should go out into the world and search for people that are like minded and that are on our level of belief or higher. People that are not going to drag you down, tell you negative things or people that are just not your people. If you find yourself first, then your tribe will find you along the way. Trust me, there’s nothing like having a tribe that you didn’t look for. You found them on the journey of finding yourself because they shared your thoughts, ideas and your way of life.

I have drifted way off topic hahaha, Where was I ? Oh yes, last but certainly not least we are our DNA, this is the shared part of our lives, the part where we are linked physically to others, the part where we link ourselves physically to others this is the part that we cannot change, we are who we are physically. Its a temporary body, and we inherit all sorts of wonderful things from our parents and grandparents and every single relative before them, we inherit the good and the bad, the beauty and the ugly, the sickness and the health. We cannot hide from our DNA , its who we are, well its a part of who we are.

MIND, BODY and SOUL, I’ve been listening to people talk of these 3 for so many years and I thought I understood, and I did, but my level of understanding has grown, it’s deeper, it’s wider and it’s changed the way I see it all. I can’t be one without the other. I can’t love one and ignore the other. I have to embrace all 3 all the time. I cannot neglect any part of me, in order to be my true authentic self. In order to share the real me I have to BE the real me and I have to stop swaying like a read and find myself a rock that I can call home and on that rock I will build myself, my house and my family where I cannot be swayed, where I will teach them to not be swayed and hopefully when I die, they will have everything that that I have built to use as tools to continue building themselves.

I enjoyed writing this piece. It flowed out of me like water flowing over a rock after a rainstorm creating a waterfall that’s filled with beauty and life. It poured out of me with such ease that I know I am closer to that place within myself that I long for so deeply, that I search for so vigorously and I can feel that the me that I was born to be shows herself now, more often than she ever did before, and that makes me smile, that kind of smile that comes from within, that nobody can take from you because it’s not just on your face but in your very being.

Thank you for being here and sharing life with me. Don’t forget to scroll down and pop into my podcast and have a listen. I’m sharing more and more of myself as I grow into myself all in the hope that it will make even the tiniest difference to any one person that may need it. I started out doing this for me and I have received so many messages of people that needed to hear what I have said or needed to read something I’ve written. That for me is everything.

Love and Light

Tammy