The Aha of Authentic Self
I have spent much of the past week mired in a deep sense of failure. As I marked the first anniversary of my sister’s death, I felt shame that I had wasted the past year. I know that if she had beaten cancer, Deb would have lived large and never wasted a moment. Yet, my wasted moments seemed to be ganging up on me and crushing my spirit.
In that darkness, I could not see the lives that I had touched with my writing and speaking. I didn’t feel the victory of finishing my second book. I was blind to the progression from the daily goal of getting dressed before my family came home to the ten to twelve hour days of researching and reaching out to make this book touch the world and inspire others.
A light, shining from the proverbial aha light bulb, pierced the darkness and gave me a new perception. My daughter recommended a blog called The Daily Love (thedailylove.com) and I was reading one of the guest blogs by Kute Blackson when I came across a sentence that changed everything. “The real magic is being your authentic self in the world.” (http://thedailylove.com/are-you-ready-to-create-real-magic-in-your-life-now/).
At that moment, I knew two things to be true. One, I was not being my authentic self and two; I wasn’t even sure who my authentic self was. I had heard the term authentic self bantered around but it always seemed a little “guru”ish to me. I believed that I was living true to my inner self. Now I needed to find the truth.
A clear stream of clarity came to me and I knew that I needed to go back to the beginning. This is a mantra that always plays in my head when I am stuck or do not know what road to take. I knew I needed to go all the way back to the beginning and find the defining moments that molded me into who I am now so I could rewind to the original version. I began peeling back the layers.
This is not an easy exercise. But, I have discovered some original characteristics of my authentic self. First, I had forgotten that my default was being happy, fun-loving and funny. My friend’s father even nicknamed me “Smiley.” This was no longer true; just ask those that live with me.
Writing has been a passion from the moment I could form the letters. I marveled as a child, how groups of letters became words that linked together into sentences. And making it all rhyme was simply magic.
Art was a close second. I remember one night as a teenager in my pink bedroom, long after everyone else had gone to sleep, sketching my hand over and over again to get the drawing to look as realistic as possible. This wasn’t an assignment. This was a personal growth exercise that no one ever saw.
If I wasn’t writing or drawing I was on a soccer field or a basketball court. The hours of practice I put in on my own were a testament to my passion.
These activities consumed my days of childhood. By the time I reached adulthood and certainly by motherhood, they were all gone. How could I have wandered so far from the truth? How many of us have a box full of dreams labeled “childhood memories” that we have packed away in a dark corner?
I too believe that the real magic is being your authentic self in the world. So, go back to your beginning and do the work to find yourself. I promise, the journey is worth the destination.
I hope your day is blessed with childlike wonder and joy!