At first it’s hard to even know what it means to be authentic. Our inner core has been covered up for many years. We have been taught to be what we are not. We have been taught what to like and dislike. We have been taught to measure ourselves against narrow standards, to compare and judge.
No wonder it's hard to know who you really are.
To be authentic means that you don’t act or react by any set standards. It means that you are fully present in each situation, making conscious, spontaneous decisions.
It means that you are true to yourself in each moment.
Ramana Maharshi often used the expression “be as you are”. I think this is good to practice.
Be as you are when you are confused or disappointed.
Be as you are when you are happy or serene.
Be as you are when you are tired.
But do it with awareness.
Don’t shove anything under the rug.
Be as you are.
Ponder all the underlying emotions and their true causes. I mean ponder. You don’t need to come up with definitive answers. In fact, it’s best if you don’t. Allow yourself to not know the answer to anything about yourself.
There are no definitive answers and nowhere to reach. Just be.
Authenticity doesn’t have anything to do with perfection. Authenticity is living with truth, your truth, from moment to moment. Nothing needs to be known in advance.
If you keep being aware of your own feelings and reactions you will soon discover a lot about who you are in a way that doesn’t require any explanations or set standards. I can’t tell you what you will discover, each discovery is unique, but I can promise you that it will be of utmost importance to you and that it will transform your life.
It can be humbling in the beginning. You may find parts of yourself that you have tried to avoid. Towards the end you will reach parts of yourself you didn’t know existed.
This discovery is endless.
Sometimes authenticity means to go this way while everyone else is going that way. People around you may become upset, angry or disappointed because they wanted to decide who you are. (That’s a great opportunity for them to find out more about who they are. It’s got nothing to do with you.) Sometimes it means losing friends and gaining new ones.
It can also mean that nothing changes. You can have the most beautiful inner transformation and no one will ever notice. It doesn’t matter. You won’t care. The only thing that matters is that you are who you are.
There are a couple of ways you can practice becoming more genuinely you. One is to pay attention to everything that happens and to your reaction to what happens. For this you don’t have to set aside any time at all! You just do it while living your daily life. So easy and fruitful!
The other is meditation, which is really just a more formalized way of paying attention. This requires a little time, not much. A combination of both is best.
What you gain is priceless.
You gain you.
The real, true, untouched youness of you.
Watch this hilarious rap by Premanator about the eternal question...