Being Your Authentic Self
The secret? Revel in your dreams- live it and use it to serve others KNOWING you are taken care of. And watch God return it to you tenfold. #livingproof- Aleia
Last week, I wrote about a process for moving closer to your joy, and on Tuesday, I discussed how the gift of silence and how it gives you an opportunity to sit in your emotions. Today, I want to merge the two and share how being your authentic self catalyzes your dreams. If you're pressed for time, the cliff notes are quickly summarized at the end. I get it.
Who is the Who you wish to be?
Many of us exist trying to be the person we perceive others want us to be. For me, that has looked like allowing others to take advantage of my time and space. It has been me racking my brain about how to be the perfect wife and mother. It has been me telling myself that if I could only be or do enough, then I’ll be good enough. It has been me believing that self-love and self-care are OPTIONS only when there everyone else’s needs have been met. It has been me falling into the Miss Celie mindset that “this life will be over soon, heaven lasts always.”
Y’all didn’t think I was going to tell the truth huh?
This thinking led me down many roads of frustration, sadness, despair, and blockage that I believed were signs of my weakness. It wasn’t until the quiet depression crept in with my last miscarriage that I sought help (again) in therapy. One exercise in particular began set off a chain of events that has allowed my to get clear about who I truly am.
My therapist asked me, “What are the things that you’re willing to try to get the affirmation and validation that you seek outside of your marriage?”
What? I reacted. Does this mean that I had been subconsciously making someone else responsible for my own validation? I was an independent woman who had her own things, like my Barnard sister Ntozake Shange’s name denotes.
Even worse, when I tried to reply, I had no answer. Somehow “have an affair” didn’t seem like a good response.
After some prodding, I listed things that I used to enjoy and gave me peace once upon a time. I listed those things that meant a lot to me, but I worried that I didn’t have space for in all the other compartments of my life. Still, I wrote those ingredients of an authentic me
1- some sort of women’s empowerment group
2- hanging out with friends
3- being in a writing group
4- taking religion classes
5- meditating regularly
I resolved to try these things in some form or fashion if for no other reason than to have something to report in session the next week.
My life began to blossom.
Self, Joy, and Vision
I discovered that writing is who I am and it feeds my soul. I discovered that attending church regularly gives me tools for my spiritual journey, as well as shifts my mindset to receive the good that is ordained for me. I discovered that my home won’t collapse if I’m not trying to micromanage everything (and everyone) in it. I discovered keys to my liberation.
And here’s the magical part. The more I became myself, the more opportunities arise that nurture my higher Self. I keep a book with me in which I wrote out my ideal life of passion and service. In this book, I described my dream for my family, my lifestyle, my work, my vision of liberation, and how I want to share that with others. I try to read this book daily to align my thoughts and actions with my vision. I find that the more I give space to being my authentic Self, the more the things in this “dream book” come true. I can literally cross off several “wishes” (I prefer intentions) that have been manifested in the last three months. It’s too much to be a coincidence.
What does this mean for you? The quick and dirty
1- Know yourself. What are those activities and places where you feel the most you? When do you feel the most connected with God and humanity?
2- Act. How can you incorporate those activities and places into your life? What do you need to do to prioritize them? Who do you think you’re NOT that doesn’t deserve prioritizing self-care?
3- Get clear. What does a life of self-care, love, and service look like? Write it down. Read it three times a day. Carry it with you. Guard it in your heart.
4- Stand back. Watch God work in your life.