ON AUTHENTICITY

Attaining pure authenticity is a life-long effort to be pursued. Although some situations tend to neglect authenticity, due to the ever-lasting pressure to conform to societal expectations, there always will be a certain occasion when we’ll be able to embrace our purest and truest self. Whether it is through art, by expressing ourselves without omitting our shortcomings, or ultimately thanks to the companionship of friendly acquaintances which may eventually forge an imperishable love for showing our true self. As varied as the forms of our newly born authenticity are, these can never leave us.

Writing is, from my viewpoint, the very moment when I feel the most honest towards my own self. Besides the worshipped therapeutical effects conveyed, I believe that writing only enables one to question themselves to a certain extent. The process itself unfolds naturally, from describing one’s feelings to sharing emotions and additionally uncovering one’s fears. In the end, the writer acknowledges his complete self. There is no doubt, only asserted certainties. There is no debate whether the flaws should be left aside, the thought doesn’t even have time to arise in the writer’s mind as it flows so soothingly. Each and every feature is taken into account, no cogitation required.

Nineteenth-century British poet William Wordsworth exhorted in a letter to his wife in 1812 : “Fill your paper with the breathing of your heart.”

This quotation quite simply elucidates the quintessence of writing. The writer gives his whole self to words, he plays with them and perverts them, nevertheless he never loses himself in the process. He becomes the paper, the words. Therefore, he cannot cover the shady elements. Black and white it is. And that is how authenticity is imprinted in writing.

This is how I feel whenever I pen something. There is no time to question myself, I am solely absorbed  in the piece I am giving myself to. 

“Only the truth of who you are, if realized, will set you free.” Eckhart Tolle

There will most-likely always be some kind of tribulations to hinder us from being honest with ourselves and from being satisfied of sharing all the parts of ourselves with others. But, at least for now, we should hold onto that these things that allows us to be authentic, no matter how tiny they seem to be. There is no greater pleasure than having this one little thing that makes us who we are, which reminds us of who we are, and which enables us to expand the perception others have on us by showing who we truly are. This not so little thing is a step towards the ultimate goal of being fully authentic, always.

Nevertheless, to remain authentic in our day-to-day life seems a much harder task to complete. To live in perfect harmony with our convictions is a challenge in our society ruled by capitalism, under some sort of new plutocracy. Additionally, being able to be outspoken about our values and clearly identify ourselves in relation to them in public seems to be increasingly scarce nowadays. 

To live by one’s values, from the diet we follow to the things that we consume, aware of the diktats society is attempting at forcing on us and yet rejecting them, more than being an ever-lasting endeavor, is a fiercely powerful act of authenticity. Authenticity endows one with the most precious reward: freedom. Being authentic means being brave enough not to hide beneath layers of false reality.

Which value do you believe you best live by?

P.S. This is an up-cycled version of a piece written in 2015.

Mi lugar. Sinsinati.

ON KNOWING YOURSELF

The privilege of a lifetime is to become who you truly are.
–  Carl Gustav Jung

Who are you?

I do not mean ramble on what is your personality like according to the Myers–Briggs type indicator, nor to prattle on the origins of your family name or your zodiac sign. These are details that, of course, do contribute to your identity. How attached to them are you? Doesn’t the importance you give to them hinder you from achieving potential change?

When undergoing a self-assessment of his personality, one tends to remember better the positive aspects. This makes sense as one shall generally choose to introduce himself to new encounters through a favorable light in order to make a good first impression, rather than denigrating his own self. As one thus keeps presenting himself according to the very same set of values, the negative parts are often left out of the equation, making a seemingly very little mark on his mind.

Isn’t it human, after all, to simply choose to focus on the good rather than the bad?

At times, concentrating on the favorable elements in our lives is indeed the only way to perceive the end of the tunnel. In some cases, it may even serve as a life-saving action. Yet, one ought not to forget that as human beings we are works in progress. Life means constant evolution, embracing changes, undertaking new experiences. This means learning to navigate through the ebbs and flows of life. In order to manage it, one has to accept that there is a balance in the way he is, but that shall not hinder him from modifying its weight. 

We have to dare to be ourselves, however frightening or strange that self may prove to be.
– May Sarton

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BCN, May 2020, GC

Aren’t you willing to grow?

I recently fathomed out that the great and prime patience I, for so long, believed I had was not truly reflected in my actions. I can be quite impatient at times and with my stubbornness, it is often likely to lead me to waves of anger. It is never pleasant to realize that you possess such and such flaw, let alone acknowledging it to your peers. And yet, it is also the only way to work on it. It is always the first step to take in order to progress.

It seems needless to say that this is not an easy task, for it requires a constant self-evaluation. Moreover, it demands a certain kind of strength to accept ourselves in our most vulnerable state  – the most genuine and authentic. Many people, as frightened as they are to conquer their fears, are not willing to confront themselves. In the same way, they could be intimated to disclose their true self in front of their peers.

Indeed, it takes a lot of courage to be authentic but there is no other alternative to self-growth. Perfection is unattainable. One cannot forever hide beneath the covers of an illusory self, as they eventually fade. This does not mean proclaiming all of your defects from the rooftops, but simply not pretending to be someone you are not and thus not lying to yourself.

***

All in all, to fully know know oneself requires to, sometimes, shift the focus, see yourself through a different lens and be ready and willing to evolve.

Do not worry, the universe will test you and if you pay enough attention will always show you the way.

how well do you truly know yourself?

Le Canzoni. Jovanotti.