Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Thoughts on Authenticity

My blogger buddy Maureen sent me a a link to a wonderful downloadable book entitled What is Dying to be Born? The book, which features words and art by some wonderful women, was compiled by Lianne Raymond, a life coach and yoga practitioner: you can find the book -- and her blog -- here (Hint: the low-res download is fine, and much faster).

I began reading through the book yesterday evening, and I particularly wanted to share this piece with you today. Written by Brené Brown, it's entitled "The Audacity of Authenticity," and speaks directly to the work I seem to be doing over Lent; getting rid of the "shoulds" and coming to love the real human being that lies beneath.

Like the sheep in this picture, each of us has our matted and scruffy places, both inside and out. But we always have the opportunity to love and accept what is instead of wishing we -- or our lives -- were tidier...

Authenticity is the daily practice of letting go
of who we think we’re supposed to be,
and embracing who we are.

Choosing authenticity means:

Cultivating the courage to be imperfect,
to set
and to allow ourselves to be

Exercising the compassion that comes from
that we are all made of strength and
and connected to each other
through a
loving and resilient human spirit; and

Nurturing the connection and sense of belonging

that can only happen when we believe that we are

Authenticity demands wholehearted living and loving –
even when it’s hard,
even when we’re
wrestling with the shame and fear
of not being
good enough,
and especially when the joy is so
that we’re afraid to let ourselves feel it.

Choosing authenticity is not only an act of courage;
it is an act of resistance.
You’re going to
confuse, piss-off and terrify lots of people –
including yourself.
One minute you'll pray that
the transformation ends
and the next minute
you’ll pray that it never ends.

But, if we want to
engage in our lives from a place of worthiness,
authenticity is not just an option: it's essential.
We have to wake up
every morning and say,
“This is who I am,
this is
my story,
and I am enough.”

Brené Brown Ph.D. is a researcher, professor, and writer.
Her upcoming book is called The Gifts of Imperfection ,
and she blogs at


Maureen said...

You selected a particularly wonderful piece to highlight. I'm glad you're enjoying "What is Dying to be Born?" I am, too.

altar ego said...

Okay, this is a little freaky. Using entirely different words and told in an entirely different way, I touched on this very thing on my blog this morning. The paradox of authenticity, of accepting and being who we are, is that we open ourselves to becoming something else. Transformed, ripened, strengthened, whatever new creation awaits us is possible because we are able to be in that terrifying and courageous place of say, "this is who I am, this is my story, and I am enough."

I needed to read YOUR words, this morning, to move past and above the place from which my words emerged.

KimQuiltz said...

I'm still too pissed about who everybody else is and how I've reacted to them and who I am to feel anything close to acceptance. But I'm working on it! Cold shower? Chocolate cake? Hmmmm. Meditation? Running only makes me feel stronger and more self-righteous. *G*

I ADORE that sheep! What a face!!

Jayne said...

Here from Anne's blog... so much truth to these words. It took me until the age of 40 to reclaim all my external power I relinquished to the world for all the years prior to that. Yes, the changes did piss a good many people off, and friendships ended (people do prefer doormats), but I now know who I am and love the person in this skin.