Genuineness and Authenticity

Authenticity is about being real and genuine, living our own truth and ‘doing as we do and as we say’. By living by what we believe to be right for us, whether that is in agreement with those around us or not, we remain true to ourselves. Authenticity means not abandoning ourselves and our ideals in the face of another who may judge or reject us; it is being able to be ourselves and remain basically the same with all that we meet, without changing. It encompasses being honest and aware of our own limitations during those times when we haven’t as yet integrated the truth which we hold as our ideal. Through our authenticity people come to know us as trustworthy and this promotes openness and honesty within relationships.

As we journey along our spiritual path and become more aware of the concepts surrounding unconditional love and all that this entails, we may experience conflicts such as the ‘what to do for the best’ dilemma. We may be aware that some of the things that we do or feel may not be spiritually ethical in the sense that we’re not embracing ‘the highest good of all’ and not fulfilling beliefs of ‘just for today, do not anger’. We may suppress our negative feelings, becoming instead a ‘spiritual goody two-shoes’ because we perceive that this is what is expected of us. Our denial can lead to inner conflict and turmoil created by judging others and becoming critical of their actions, rather than embracing our own self-defeating imperfections. The question when difficulties arise with whom the responsibility, or ‘blame’ may be in a given interaction and what is the ‘best’ thing to do in this situation can often cause us to experience great conflict with our authenticity. Are we ‘right’ to be doing, saying or even thinking this? We may find ourselves experiencing inner conflict, that from a `higher’ perspective and awareness, what we are doing, or feeling is not ‘right’, ‘it’s not spiritual’, we may think about ourselves or another. This may be rooted in guilt from the influence of conditional upbringing, or religious beliefs, which may then trigger issues of guilt surrounding our own morality and our subsequent interactions with others.

We have our imperfections, we all have our shadow side and healing can come about by acknowledging and owning this. What we resist persists, what remains in denial may stay in the shade. This can lead to us becoming ungrounded due to the reluctance to embrace what is within us, until under stress, our shadow side can rear its beautiful head, and it is beautiful for it is our truth in this moment. We are being honest about who we are and how we feel; getting back to our true selves and connecting with our true feelings which are anchoring and grounding. We would do well to embrace our honesty, rather than judge it for none of us are perfect. There is nothing more grounding than the honest admission of our own truth.

We are human whilst we’re alive and living on earth. There are differences and intricacies between all of us that we may not have yet gained full awareness of within the spectrum of our human personality. Sometimes we may find ourselves caught in a circle of high expectation of ourselves and others, focusing on and wondering about ‘differences’, comparing ourselves competitively to get some sort of measure of ourselves and where we are at. This serves a purpose towards self-awareness, but we may then begin to wonder why we feel such a loss when we disconnect from that feeling of Unity. By focusing on ‘what is’, by accepting the differences can be unifying and bring us back together again.

Our acknowledgment and honest expression of our own path, rather than focusing on another’s and where they are, can ultimately be very empowering, not only for ourselves but liberating for others too as it can lead us all back to ourselves. Although we are all part of the same jigsaw, our humanness, as a singular ‘peace’ of the Ultimate Universal Jigsaw is an important part too, for in many ways it is this, which keeps us grounded within that jigsaw. Our uniqueness and our individuality can lead to a greater whole, for all concerned and sometimes for reasons that we don’t yet know of.

We are here on earth being human, we are here to experience and, especially the teachers amongst us, are still learning. It is often our very humanness that promotes and facilitates our spirituality. The experiences that we encounter and learn from as humans contribute to our spiritual growth if we can see beyond what sometimes we might not want to look at, and maintain an open honest perspective, most importantly with ourselves. We do make mistakes, if we are viewing scenarios from a lower chakra perspective; the higher chakra perspective would view these with acceptance as all valid opportunities to learn and therefore there are no ‘mistakes’, things are just what they are — being ourselves.

If we attempt to suppress or bypass the personal lessons of the lower chakras it can cause us to become ungrounded and flighty, with a ‘holier than thou’ attitude. We still have many valid understandings that we can share with others, but if our understanding isn’t fully integrated we may come across as inauthentic, and unbelievable. It can be difficult to be entirely honest with ourselves, especially our shadow aspects, we don’t always want to see them. However, all will unravel when we are ready, we can only do our best at any given time and this is enough. An African/American proverb is ‘God makes three requests of his children: Do the best you can, where you are, with what you have, now’. Trusting that we do not have to be perfect, we are in the right place at the right time and so-called detours are all part of the journey and the scenery — and sometimes such a relief to remember!

A joyful aspect of this is that as we grow we can see that the things that we once thought or once believed in do not have to remain static. To believe that this is the case can be self-defeating and limit our own capacity to grow and change. Our voiced beliefs at one particular point in time do not, if we can remain open, have to remain the same. If we practise non-attachment to what we think that we might know, we can bloom at an incredible rate by staying open to various truths and from this expand our base of understanding. If we can openly admit with honesty that we have been wrong about certain things, we can liberate not only ourselves, but others too and in this we all evolve, and incredibly so!

Ultimately, our honesty with ourselves begs that we do not delude and therefore betray ourselves whilst we are in the process of attaining authenticity and genuineness. If we are hiding a part of our own picture we can also be affecting the whole of the Jigsaw as well, such is the knock-on effect. It might not be instantly obvious to all that something is amiss, but people are more aware than we often give them credit for and on some level, a lack of authenticity will undoubtedly be felt as discomfort – whether that is fully processed or not. Know thyself. Be true to thyself.

We need to find the courage to say no to the things and people that are not serving us if we want to rediscover ourselves and live our lives with authenticity.

Barbara de Angelis

The accusation that we’ve lost our soul resonates with a very modern concern about authenticity.

Patricia Hewitt

That inner voice has both gentleness and clarity. So to get to authenticity, you really keep going down to the bone, to the honesty, and the inevitability of something.

Meredith Monk