Our Authentic Self:
When we talk about our “self”, it helps to be aware that we usually have three different “selfs”. The cultures by which we have been influenced has created a “model self” for us to compare to for acceptance by the culture; we have our spiritual “authentic self”, which is who we have always been; and somewhere in between we construct a “self-image”; which reflects our own current view of “the kind of person I am”.
Much of our life is spent trying to reconcile the difference between what the cultures are telling us we “should” be doing and what our authentic self knows is right for us. The wider the gap, the greater the internal conflict and turmoil we will experience. Seeking approval from the cultural “model self” is an external focus, whereas seeking approval from our “authentic self” is an internal focus. Genuine meaning and significance comes as we focus on authenticity – turning our attention away from external approval towards internal approval. We then start to see ourselves as our own greatest resource.
Describing authenticity cannot be done effectively with words, because it is ultimately about actions and responses. Some observations we would make about authentic people are that they:
- Recognize that they are spiritual beings with a free will and accept that the results they produce in their lives are a direct reflection of the choices that they make
- Hold themselves accountable for the choices they make and for living in alignment with their highest principles
- Respect the choices that other people make
- Choose their own set of beliefs about life, knowing that this empowers them to create their own results
- Strive to live in the present with passion, faith, courage and compassion
- Possess unwavering personal integrity by steadfastly following a set of sustaining principles in living life, both in the limelight and in private
- Relentlessly strive to keep their word to themselves and with others
- Make a commitment to self-discovery and lifelong learning from other people and from life’s setbacks, knowing that every experience is a learning opportunity, every obstacle is a potential lesson, and every frustration is an opportunity to make a shift to choosing curiosity