Creating an Authentic Self
Creating an Authentic Self: sounds almost like a self-help book, doesn’t it? The other day I found myself sitting outside Starbucks, drinking a latte and staring into the flowing water of a fountain. Watching the ripples lacing their way through the cascading water gave me pause for thought. Each ripple had its own unique rhythm, it’s own dance with the divine. The water held no judgment. It merely moved to its own proverbial drum.
Later that day I found myself going chronologically through my blog. I started writing it on May 22nd of 2013. My first few entries involved Bikram yoga and food and weight loss. As I read each entry a startling realization began to form: I hadn’t reached the core of my authentic self. At the time I thought my words came from the deepest reaches of my inner core. But they didn’t.
You see I still hadn’t found that inner core, my authentic self. I had only started to scratch the surface. I only re-read the first three months of entries, and, sure, some of them did contain soul-searching revelations, but in others I saw a woman still seeking the love, the approval, the acceptance of others.
I hadn’t gotten yet to the point of understanding that who I am matters more that who people perceive me to be. When it came to food, I kept in the corners of my mind how people thought I SHOULD eat, how they thought I was SUPPOSED to eat.
I saw the rawest snippets of myself in the entries around my father’s death. And in the pictures of me doing yoga poses.
That night, after reading three months of blog entries, I laid awake feeling the impact of my revelations, feeling the stench of wasted time. I tossed and turned, thoughts swirling with no place to go, with no way out. Around 3:30a.m. I hauled myself out of bed and started cutting vegetables. I cut enough vegetables for a four or five days, and it took me less than an hour. Now who says eating healthy takes time? I threw the veggies in a giant Ziploc bag and put them in the fridge.
In the two days since then I’ve done exactly what I wanted, without worry about people’s approval. As the great Lao-tzu once said, “care about people’s approval and you will be their prisoner.” He was right. He IS right.
I don’t care what you think of me. Not any more. I’m also immensely grateful for the writing I’ve done, in journals and in blogs. Those intimate means of self-revelations bring me more strength than I ever thought I had and more courage to continue evolving into the woman I envision myself being.
Here’s a favorite fun blog entry from my first blog:
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