Authenticity and Connection

In my mind what we all hunger for is someone to let down the barriers and connect with us in real, deep and intimate ways. I know for me, I’ve always wanted to feel seen. If we’re not being authentic, we can’t really see each other.

I’ve realized over the years that my need to feel seen was a part of my search for validation of my worthiness outside of myself. I also realized that not everyone wants to be seen. Also, while we can’t feel seen or really see others without authenticity, being authentic is really about something much, much more.

I think Brene’ Brown expresses it beautifully in her quote: “Authenticity is a collection of choices that we have to make every day. It’s about the choice to show up and be real. The choice to be honest. The choice to let our true selves be seen.”

What can be tricky is the part about “being seen” because it can be easy to get that mixed up with wanting approval. If I want someone to see me as a wise and insightful mentor, for example, then I might not show the parts of me that aren’t always so wise. The key words here are “choice” and “true selves.”

In each moment we make a choice how we are going to interpret and respond to the people, places and events around us. Much of the time this choice is not even conscious. Part of awakening is getting off auto-pilot and being more conscious of the choices we make.

Being our true self becomes much easier when we learn to love ourselves, even with all of our perceived faults and flaws. It becomes less important to hide those parts of ourselves we feel ashamed of if we have accepted our humanness. As we embrace and accept the totality of who we are and share that openly with others, we find that we are not alone.

Putting these together, what we have is the choice to love ourselves so that we may more fully love each other. We are all here doing the best we can with what we have. We all make mistakes. We all stumble and fall.

As we accept this pattern and stop striving for perfection, we begin to live more from our authentic self. Sharing with others from that open hearted space invites others to do the same. We can then come together and experience the deeper connections we desire.

What’s your choice?