We've had the privilege to go on holiday with my daughter, her husband and their two girls. What a blessing it was. Our elder granddaughter is four years old and such a precious big sister to her nine month old sibling.
Apart from all the laughter and the delightful antics of the two girls, it was also a learning experience. How to be authentically you. Children are so open and uncomplicated. They take life at face-value and grab it with both hands. The younger baby seems to look at everything with such expectation, looking for reasons to burst out laughing. Life to the elder one is a constant source of wonder, delighting in even the tiniest piece of broken sea-shell.
On our second last day of holiday, us girls had an art day. We all painted butterflies. When Rose's mom pointed out that her butterfly was pointing down, she simply said yes, of course, it is flying down to the flowers. Simple. Easy. That is the way of it, and she added that it was exactly how she wanted it to be. Period. She said it with all the confidence of a four year old, which is more confidence than many grown-ups have.
You see, four year olds (the ones blessed with a nurturing and loving home) have not yet been conditioned and warped by an unforgiving society. They are still untouched by the worlds rules, demands to conform and expectations. They have not yet been tainted by self-doubt. Little children are simply their authentic selves.
This, sadly though, does not last long. The world, life and society soon start pushing these free spirits into a mold, demanding them to conform and shape themselves into a more acceptable form.
Observing this confidence in my granddaughter made me think about the importance of authenticity. I also realize that it is a very worthwhile attribute to pursue. Being my own authentic self. Yet, how?
I think it starts first of all with knowing yourself, who you are and what your self-worth is. However, the problem with this is that over the years we have told ourselves so many untruths about ourselves. Just like a child learns to talk by constantly hearing the word :"Mama, Mama, Mama", we become what we say to ourselves: "I can't, I am a failure, I am worthless." This is not true. We were not born to be failures and worthless. We were born with limitless possibilities. However, we started to listen more to the outside world, and less to the voice of our own authentic self. It is vital to stop listening to other people's opinion about you and start paying attention to your Creator's truth about you.
Make a list of your attributes, your strengths and your current abilities. Write down the possibilities about yourself and where you would like to go. Think about your core values and what things are important to you. Write them down. Once you are honest about yourself and who you want to be, start finding people who will be on your side, find your tribe. Surround yourself with positive and like-minded people.
Knowing your worth and your values are important when it comes to making decisions as well as living true to your authentic self. Our actions are a reflection of our core beliefs and values. When we know who we are it is much easier to also be who we are. We no longer fear what other people say about us, because we are free to be our own authentic selves, to be the unique and wonderful person you have been created to be all along.
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