Monday, 22 September 2014

AN AUTHENTIC LIFE


At the moment, I’m trying my hardest to live an authentic life. What per se is that you ask? For me, as answers will vary depending on the individual obviously, it is living a life that is truthful and 'real' (as the notion of reality is debatable in some circles, let's focus on the concept of authenticity, i.e. something that is veritable and genuine) on as many levels as I can manage. It’s not a small undertaking I assure you. This of course means that I am not only on the quest to have this in my own life, but am making darn sure I’m surrounded by individuals with the same intention (this is a very hard task, I assure you as many humans find this to be a daunting undertaking and are more comfortable with living a life that is shrouded in mistruths).

Now, before you applaud me, know this is an ever-evolving intention. Some days I suck at it, and others, well, I think I do all right.  Like many out there who are able to self reflect, I’ve lived enough of life to readily admit that I had many years with my head stuck deep in the sand – or a swirling black hole of chaos, self generated of course - and I fell victim to my own insecurities and b*llshit - for lack of a more eloquent way to put it. In simple terms, I’ve tasted inauthentic and it never digested very well. At this point in my life, I am who I am; change is slow journey that needs tending to every day, and the beauty of me (like all of us) is that I'm fabulously flawed. It's how you approach those flaws that makes all the difference.

As you know my views on human beings, I think we are all too predictably fond of complicating our lives. Instead of being true to ourselves and those around us we get sucked into the way of thinking that we need more, have to be more, and end up on the hamster wheel of trying to attain everything we seek, even if it’s detrimental and inauthentic to who we really are. It’s exhausting and utterly futile as half the time, when you finally get to where you think you were striving to get to, you either don’t know why the hell you bothered or you’ve already set your sights on somewhere else. The grass is never greener on the other side as we all know. Green is simply green.

The other thing is that most human beings are simply not satisfied or comfortable with who they are. We are a smoke and mirrors society that is fueled by ways to trick others into thinking our lives are the dog’s bollocks. Instead of simply walking around and telling it like it is: I have wrinkles and cellulite, my husband and I fight about very stupid things, my job is a bore, my kid annoys me sometimes, etc.; we do the opposite. We sugarcoat and deflect and exaggerate (and post/tweet and snapchat our little hearts out) in hopes that we can make ourselves feel better and project an image to the world that simply does not exist. You see, smoke and mirrors to make what it is, seem just a little more tantalising. 

So, back to the quest for authenticity: Here it is in a nutshell: be truthful as much as humanly possible (to yourself and to others). And yes, this will definitely ruffle feathers as most people do NOT want to hear the truth. In fact, prepare to hurt some people’s feelings (from experience, when I find my feelings get hurt, it’s usually cause for me to look deeper into something and own what’s going on in my own life). But at the end of the day, telling your best friend she looks great in her new PVC leggings and crop top when you really think she looks absurd is not doing either of you any favours. In terms of you, there is simply no point in lying to yourself. Your subconscious will always win out in the end (you hear that little voice, waaaaay back in your mind, no amount of alcohol is shutting that up, I can assure you).

Secondly, be who you are. This one is a doozy cause most people haven’t even bothered to ask who they are in the first place. Don’t be who you think people want you to be, or what looks good on the neighbor. Be who you are, even if it’s one BIG hot mess. Own your hot mess. I’m telling you, it’s liberating in ways you can’t imagine and will save you years of exhaustively trying to be something you’re not. 

And lastly, as much as you can, surround yourself with people after the same ‘authentic’ goal in life. I pride myself in having a group around me with a no b*llshit policy - or a limited one anyway. We call it as we see it (even if it hurts a bit at the time), and I rely on them to keep me in check whenever I need it. I don’t want to be lied to about this or that, and god knows, I don’t have the energy any more to do the same.

Trust me, it’s not an easy journey to go on, but it’s damn liberating and denial…well as they say, that’s just a river in Egypt. Or at least, it should be.

Copyright © 2014 Anthea Anka - Delighted And Disturbed