Living an authentic life is often about being an open book. Opening your life up to those closest to you and living in such a way which inspires others to follow in your footsteps. This requires us to develop close and heart to heart relationships with those who mean the most to us in life. Namely our spouse and children.
Developing close relationships takes three things:
This means we share what means the most to us our thought, feelings, and dreams. We lay them out for someone to see, examine, and maybe even criticize. While we hop we choose wisely and those we share with will guard our thoughts and feelings with great care, it is not guaranteed and that is what makes this both scary and brave. However, if we are going to live authentic lives vulnerability is required. Being true to ourselves means letting others not only see who we are but, also refusing to hide.
Being truthful with ourselves and with others is probably the biggest part of living an authentic life. Learning to be honest and kind is another thought.
Honesty does not have to be brutal. Challenging ourselves to be honest yet spare the other persons feelings as much as possible takes lots of practice and caring. We often here that little white lies in order to spare someones feeling is okay. However, this is not authenticity. Lying in any form puts up barriers which can hinder the bonding of any relationship. However, it is one thing to say; I have no idea why you picked that dress it makes you look like a cow. And saying I like the color of the dress, but it makes your hips look wider than they actually are. These two statements in essence say the same thing. However, the first statement is hurtful and could feel judgmental while the second is factual and less astringent. Relationships are built on honesty. Authenticity is too. The more your practice being hones the more authentic your life will become.
Relationships are built on getting to know one another. Authenticity is based on getting to know yourself. The only way to really get to the heart of who you are and live accordingly is through taking the time to examine yourself. The same is true of learning about others. It takes time to get to know someone else. Undivided quality time is something every relationship needs. This time is best spent doing fun and interactive activities, talking, time in person, on the phone, skypeing, or even texting are all ways to keep the lines of communication flowing.
Authenticity requires all of the above in our relationship with ourselves and others. Vulnerability, Honesty, and Time are all things we need to give to us and others in order to have a quality of life which allows us to be true to ourselves. Now Here are your next two questions:
- Who are the most important people in your life and why?
- In three sentences write down what you would like people to say in your eulogy. Are you living a life now which would cause people to say these thing? What needs to change if not?
During this week I encourage you to think about