Lately I find myself in situations where the people around me are not being true to themselves. It's a curious thing, as these are dear friends whom I love, and of course...the truth eventually comes out. It often takes a bit of coaxing, and assurance that their truth is safe with me.
One is a dear friend and a bereaved mother. I've always encouraged her to be whatever/whomever she is in any particular moment. She's a pillar of strength, grace and humor, and a constant source of inspiration for me. One evening during dinner, she suddenly exclaimed, "You always say I should just be honest about how I'm doing or feeling, and I'll tell you, every single day I try to hide that on the inside I am in absolute agony over the loss of my son. IT HURTS SO BAD SOMETIMES I CAN'T BREATHE."
Wow! Now that's powerful! Do you think I slithered under the table and said, "I can't bear witness to your pain?" No way! It touched a part of me: the part that doesn't know her pain, the part that can't even comprehend it. It touched the part of me that loves her deeply. A true friend actually can bear witness to your pain. They can cry with you, or sit with you, then go get a glass of wine with you and get back to the present moment. Anyone can learn to listen with compassion and empathy. Even a stranger can bear witness to another soul's suffering. Of course no one can "fix" grief for you, and we can't "fix" a lot of life problems, but what we can do is be authentic about handling them with love, no matter who owns them.
The other situation emerged during deep discussion with a friend. He said, "I don't know how to say this..." I interrupted him and said, "Wait a moment, why would you be worried about how you are sharing with me in this moment? Just spit it out as it comes to you." He had been holding back authentic feelings and thoughts because he was worried about how I would receive them. In reality, his words were a gift.
Chances are, we're all guilty of being inauthentic. If I had a nickel for every time I said "I'm fine," when someone asks me, "How are you?".....well, let's just say I'd have a LOT of spare change.
Authenticity is an interesting topic to consider. Nobody wants to keep company with someone who is always critical or nay-saying to new ideas, but the point of having a close friend is to share yourself. So, it's important to ask ourselves whether we are being authentic. Do you speak your truth, or do you use a heavy filter so everything comes across as socially acceptable? Do you edit yourself to try to make yourself appear strong? Capable? Confident? Are you really contributing the best of who you are when you do that?
Remember, Wonder Woman was a fictional character.
And finally, another dear soul communicated their fear of being rejected by family and friends for their spiritual abilities. Now, this I can relate to: being brushed off as the wacko who talks to the dead...I totally get it. It takes a truckload of courage to be the real you. There is one major benefit to doing it. When you emanate YOU, when you live your beliefs AUTHENTICALLY, you change your energetic composition--and like a magnet--you attract similar people and helpful circumstances into your life. Everyone else naturally falls away. Think of authenticity as a really good bug repellant: the pests go away.
A gentle caution here: being authentic does not give you license to be critical of or assess other people's lives, or say whatever you think. No one needs your help judging themselves; our own inner critics are gold medalists. People will learn from you, when you share your experiences. You aren't the expert on anyone else. Being authentic is digging deep into YOU and being brave enough to share who YOU are, what YOU feel, what YOU experience. This is where you will add value to the lives of everyone one you meet.
©Mollie Morning Star 2014 Short excerpts of this article may be shared on the internet provided a live link back to this original source is used. Reproduction in print is prohibited.