Merriam-Webster defines the word authentic as:
- true to one’s own personality, spirit, or character: is sincere and authentic with no pretentions.
Discovering who we really are is a tough job. It took me my entire life to grow into my authentic self. It was about the same time I really started getting into the good stuff of self-discovery and figuring out what I needed to do to feed my soul that Social Media was kicking into full swing. I will say, I love Social Media. But it can really throw a wrench into authenticity.
For me, staying true to who I am is something I have to be constantly aware of. It’s so easy to mirror the behavior of others and to slip into attitudes and energies that don’t really belong to us. It’s easy to change our actions to accommodate the likes and dislikes of others, just to make sure things go smoothly. It’s easy to blend in with the crowd so everyone likes us. But what a bunch of bullshit. Really.
I’ve mentioned in many of my Blog posts that the past several weeks have been super tough. There are a handful of people that know what’s been going on; one of which is a co-worker that I spend a lot of time with and I would say she knows me fairly well. I took a couple of weeks off work in December to try to make my way through some of the situations that were playing out in my life. During this time, I still did many of the day to day things that I do and I posted about them on Social Media. My friend and co-worker texted me the following, “How are you doing? It appears that you’re doing well. Just checking in.” The quote isn’t verbatim, but sums it up, though. She knows the big picture of who I am and what my life looks like. She knows that bits and pieces of my life were good and that a couple of big chunks had been completely upended.
Social Media is used in so many different ways, depending on who you are. I used to assume that everyone used it for the same reasons, but I’ve learned that I was totally wrong in that assumption. Social Media can help us in attaining and maintaining our authenticity, if we are mindful and if we want to use it that way. People can also completely lose their authentic selves in the world of Social Media. They can become many different people if they so choose. Some people just want to peek into the lives of others and tell their own stories of what’s going on. Reminds me of Gladys Kravitz on Bewitched. The uses for Social Media are endless, and quite surprising.
Entering my 50’s, the important things about myself changed, tremendously. Top of the list is to be authentic, always. It sounds easy and probably the younger you are, the easier it sounds. But it’s a challenge. There are situations every single day of my life where it would be so much easier to conform to the way I think others believe I should be, or act in a way society tells me is appropriate. But I’m working really hard to be true, real, honest, and 100 percent me.
I promise you that if I post something on Social Media, it’s because it means something to me. If I share a meme or someone else’s post, a quote, or a thought, it touched me in some way, shape, or form. It made me smile or laugh, reminded me of something I’ve overcome in my life, encouraged or inspired me, or just made me feel good. I’ll never share something to hurt someone, make someone angry, make fun of someone, or to spite someone. That’s not who I am. I’ve never been that person.
The Four Agreements is a book written by Don Miguel Luiz. It’s a quick read, but one I think people could read a hundred times and get a deeper message every time. The basics, though, are to apply four concepts to your life and to live these every second of every day. It’s very simple:
These are my thoughts today! Peace Out!! – b –