For a long time I’ve been reflecting on my authenticity and what it actually means to be authentic. While pondering on the meaning of living an authentic life, I began to ask myself various questions, such as:
What does being authentic actually mean?
So we have the following words to describe what authentic means:
Let’s see what our heading looks like if we substitute the synonyms instead of the word authentic
How to live a genuine life
How to live a true life
How to live a real life
How to live an original life
This seems to be getting us closer to the meaning that we are interested. However this leads to further questions of:
What is a genuine life
True life compared to what
What does real mean
What is an original life
Let us see what Wikipedia has to say:
Authenticity refers to the truthfulness of origins, attributions, commitments, sincerity, devotion, and intentions.
So living an authentic life is rooted in truthfulness. This includes being truthful to yourself and to others, and the outcome is that you live an authentic life.
Being truthful to yourself
By being truthful to yourself and not deceiving yourself, we move closer to our authentic self. Our authentic self doesn’t contain any layers of falsity that can hide our true self. Your authentic self is a place of synchronicity and resonance. The intersection of these two characteristics leads to inner peace due to near zero fiction of the entanglement between your authentic self and false self’s
Being truthful to others
By being truthful to others, you are reinforcing your authentic self outwardly into reality which in turn reflects truthfulness back to you to complete the cycle. We, to a certain degree create our own reality by projecting ourselves in terms of our perceptions onto reality. Our perceptions are based on either viewing from our false self’s or our authentic self. Viewing from our authentic self gives us a truer picture of reality that is more meaningful to us.
Why is it so hard to live an authentic life?
One of the prime reasons why it is so hard to live an authentic life; is because it isn’t easy to find your authentic self. You have to spend a period of time exploring your own self to peel away the layers of your false self. The confusion of authenticity becomes further compounded by the question of how do you know it is your authentic self? From a personal perspective, authenticity is more a feeling of oneness and peace that you feel within you that characterizes your authentic self.
At a superficial view of authenticity, it initially appears that some form of comparison is intrinsically built into authenticity. For example you can only distinguish authentic Italian food if you compare it to other foods. However this comparison is misleading because true being genuine can only be measured by the characteristics of its own self. For example a genuine Stravinsky violin is only authentic because it has the real characteristics that make it authentic.
Authenticity is not valued in society
Society values other attributes such as intelligence, wealth and beauty as measures of success. We are not encouraged to be authentic within society, because authenticity leads to differentiation, which can lead to dissolving of the cohesion that binds society in commonality. We are all encouraged to be the same in society by various forms of pressure emanating from your peers and from the media.
This definition of society is now become less important because of the introduction of a multi-cultural society, where the lines of societal definitions are blurred by the fusion of different cultures, yet at the same time maintaining their authentic culture intact. However having said that even the walls of culture are coming down and you see examples of a mingled society, where people adopt different aspects of different cultures that they have been exposed to. Take for example myself, I am a Bengali Muslim born in the UK and as a result of my exposure to different cultures I have a mixed multi-cultural view of society as opposed to a singular view that was more apparent prior multi-cultures existing.
How to become more authentic
The key is to find your true self, independent of culture and society, since these are artificial divisions that confuses your real self. There are no divisions of your true self, you are just who you are regardless of creed or color. As mentioned before the path to authenticity is rooted in truthfulness and truthfulness is not dependent on differentiating characteristics but a path to oneness within yourself. Leading an authentic life means that you are true to yourself; and only by being true to yourself can you be true to others.
Loving and accepting yourself is part of being authentic
Loving and accepting yourself for who you truly are is one of the characteristics of living an authentic life. Accepting your true self regardless of your ego elevates you to a higher level of spirituality, because you are becoming one with your spirit. When you become one with your spirit then you have achieved authenticity.
If you enjoyed reading my posts and they resonate with you Click here to receive my posts by email