Sunday, April 25, 2010
Authenticity part 2 The topic of authenticity seems to be cropping up all over the place. Granted I do a lot of reading and research on areas where authenticity would be likely to be a frequent topic and a desirable goal. For many of us in those circles, it’s not a novel idea. I am noticing, however, that the concept seems to be making its appearance in the collective consciousness; as things tend to do when their time is due-when humanity needs them and is ready to accept them. I’m not certain why the “divine timing’ but I can think of several good arguments for the development and nurturance of authentic living. If we are authentic true to ourselves and our inner being, our values become clear; we begin to realize and prioritize what it is that really matter to us. As our true “heart’s desire” becomes clearer we are less inclined to be persuaded by others that may attempt to manipulate us, convincing us that they know what’s best for us. I can’t help but relate this to the “economic crisis” and the role of advertising and the American trends of consumerism. When we don’t know who we are, what we really value, it’s easy to look outside ourselves to fill the emptiness of uncertainty and doubt we harbor. We are at risk of filling the void with seemingly easy, quick fixes; drugs, alcohol, spending beyond our means. Our country’s current economic problems are the result of both individuals reaching beyond their means to acquire things, belongings, vacations, homes, etc that they believed they needed and the greed and lack of morality of those who were willing to capitalize on those “needs”. A friend and I recently discussed the gift of having been raised in a household with limited income. You learned what was essential and what luxury was. You learned that people are more important than things. You learned how to entertain yourself and have fun with whatever you had available to you. My kids remember very few of their Christmas or Birthday presents. One of their most fond holiday memories is in creating a house from a large cardboard box that a Fischer price playset was packaged in. They kept that box house for months. They drew on it. They taped up curtains from old fabric scraps, cut out windows and even a mail slot and played for hours creating a world of pretend around their “home” I’m not implying that poverty is essential to the discovery of one’s authenticity, but I believe there is a connection between living simply and living authentically. Given our current times with not only the financial problems our country has faced, but the increasingly obvious need to create sustainable sources of energy and food, the real need for community and cooperation, it makes sense that there is a mass appeal for authenticity. If we are to create strong communities, work cooperatively and be open to lifestyle change, it is important that we have a sound foundation of self understanding and self respect. Once we have achieved this foundation, we are less threatened by change, by sacrifice and by new ideas and world views. As individuals we are all part of the larger community of humankind, links in a chain, with the strengthening of each link the chain becomes stronger, more flexible and more functional. May your authentic self thrive as a strong link in our healing community.