As an adult, when you reminisce about the happiest moments of your childhood, what is it about those memories that flood you with gratitude? Was it the state of blissful ignorance that protected you from a world that had not yet reared its ugly head in your direction? Was it the innocence of youth that allowed you to be grounded, living and playing in the here and now? These are certainly profound themes that may come up for you, however, if you look a little deeper, perhaps you will recall the feeling of being unequivocally yourself. When you remember the unfiltered laughter, unconditional love, unbridled imagination and comradery that you shared with your friends; it’s almost as if you can still bring yourself back after all these years.
Is it possible to ever be truly present within yourself, the way you used to be? The way you were before the plethora of suggestions, norms and mores were deeply planted in your psyche through your familial upbringing, your educators and society? Probably not. Existential philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre suggested that the habit people have of deceiving themselves into thinking that they don’t have the freedom to make choices- for fear of potential consequences of said choice- is the strongest enemy of authenticity. Yet once you accept the notion that perhaps you are not living day to day as your authentic self, the doors that lead to the possibilities for growth begin to open for you.
Although the concept is somewhat ambiguous, when we speak about our authentic self, we invoke the real bona fide substance of who it is we are. It’s a revelatory state where we unapologetically harness our inner wisdom. It is who we are when we tap into our passion which serves as a backbone for our courage. Our outward actions and inner thoughts must be accompanied by the correct intent. It’s being assertive when expressing our concerns for others immoral behavior. It is recognizing when another’s perception of us is a subconscious reflection of themselves and in turn, accepting it without judgement. It’s their story and we should allow them the space to do their inner work. It is being comfortable in our own skin the best way we know how. This is where vulnerability comes in, and I believe that without it, one cannot wholeheartedly live their truth.
Vulnerability is raw. It’s real- and it can sting. Being comfortable with our wounds and how they have impacted our spirit allows others to see us. If we take on a facade based on what we think others want us to embody, then true connections are not being made. Perhaps it’s part of marketing yourself and others don’t seem to notice- but does it serve you? It’s facing our conditioning head on and being brave enough to soften and shed the many masks we wear. It’s allowing ourselves to seek advice with an open heart and humility. We need to tune into our unique moral compass and express ourselves while honoring our intuition. It is time to get real. How do we embody this in a world that is not in tune with our vibration? We construct a sense of shared purpose and carefully mind our thoughts, with the knowledge that these same thoughts tend to manifest reality. When we revisit our inner child, it is there that we will find our truth.
When our authenticity is born from our vulnerability- something magic happens. We become people of integrity. This is a process that is not always easy, but it results in us forming beautiful connections and becoming the kind of energy that lends itself to the greater good.