Its sounds so simple doesn’t it. So obvious. So freeing. But in my experience living authentically is not easy.
Our brain’s are wired to want to belong, to live within our comfort zone. And for many of us our upbringings and our cultures don’t encourage us to live authentically. They encourage us to ‘fit in’. I never learnt that my authentic imperfect self was beautiful. Yet it is what I want most in this entire world. To live true to myself. To feel confident, calm and connected, from the inside. To be at peace within. To live authentically.
I noticed again this week that as I practice being more vulnerable, more open, more authentic, all my internal defenses want to come up within me in a desire to protect me. Especially my inner critic. Often when I try out a new behavior, practice being more authentic – being less perfectionistic, people pleasing less, not caretaking others, sharing my feelings, being a bit messy – my inner critic comes up and shames me. I usually don’t need anyone else to do it for me because I do such a good job of it myself. But then if someone does criticize me or focus negative attention on me, especially when I am feeling vulnerable, all of my defenses start up again and I just want to shut down.
After many years of trying many things the ONLY way I am slowly learning how to live authentically is the path of compassionate self-awareness. I need the self-awareness to know myself. But without the self-compassion piece I just end up giving myself a hard time when ‘I don’t get it right’.
Today I feel immensely grateful to slowly and imperfectly practice self-compassion to support me in living true to myself.
May we all practice self-compassion this week as we learn to live more authentically. To live true to ourselves.
With great warmth