11/11/2007

The consequences of Inauthentic Living


Most of us are live out our days performing activities that are inauthentic to our true nature. Many of our inauthentic actions stem from a mix of social conditioning and our own inability to explore our true selves. We often accept parts of us that are not conducive to who we would like to become by claiming undesired habits or behaviors as "who we are." When we claim undesirable actions as who we are, we unfairly lay burdens on ourselves that we are not equipped to carry.

The areas of your life where you are experiencing discomfort serve as a clear signal of resistance against your true nature. If you are uncomfortable with the extra 10-20lbs of weight you are carrying, your body is letting you know that that you are not in alignment with your true or ideal body weight. If you feel unhealthy stress from your job or co-workers, you are very likely in an environment where you are not allowed to fully express your true nature in an authentic way. Wherever there is drastic compromise of your true self, you will begin to first feel an internal discomfort, and second, you will experience self-destructive symptoms in your life.

You will begin punishing yourself for your inability to allow your truest nature to experience freedom. For example, at work you feel that you are not given the opportunity to provide true value to the organization but instead feel that you are merely following orders handed down to you from the powers that be. As a result, you begin to sabotage your work by subconsciously slowing down your productivity and filling your working hours with menial unimportant tasks. Or maybe you are in a relationship where you feel that you can not fully express your opinions in a way that satisfies your truest nature, so you begin to supplement your emotional well-being with food, shopping, or other self-destructive activities.

The problem with living without authenticity is that your subconscious is fully aware of the fact that you are out of alignment. You generally begin to feel bad about yourself and seek to feel better by creating an equally destructive activity to soothe your emotions. These activities are ideal for providing momentary pleasures that seem to make up for the lack of honesty in your life. The problem with these "fillers" is that they create even more imbalance and resistance in your life. The more we involve ourselves with self-destructive behaviors, from inauthentic living, the more these behaviors begin to become habits in our lives. Eventually we become so accustomed to identifying with inauthentic behaviors that we falsely believe the actions to be that of our true natures. Soon we claim ourselves to be smokers, or lazy, or overweight, or shy, or whatever.

The question we fail to ask ourselves is why? Why do I smoke, over eat, or waste my time on self-limiting activities? Why do I keep doing "stupid" things that keep me trapped in a pattern of self-destructive behavior? Your answer to these questions. Your real answer to these questions will lead you down the path to living authentically. Start by being honest with yourself. Is their fear, anger, or other emotion suppressed deep inside?
Covering our emotions is similar to burying something while it is still alive. You know that it has not died. You will not rest because you understand that what you have done is unnatural. Your mind not will allow a moment of peace until you provide it the opportunity to freely express what needs to be expressed without hindrance.

Welcome your new authentic life by being as honest with yourself as you are able. Ask the difficult questions and provide answers to them. Realize that you no longer have to use compulsive activities as diversions that keep you separated from the truth that lurks beneath. Look at the truth square in the face so you can realize the freedom that comes with living in an authentic way. As you commit to authentic living, soon realize that the truth is easier to deal with than a mind that is struggling to become free.

3 comments:

annric08 said...

I feel like I have been living an inauthentic life since I was a child, always hoping to please my parents and fearful of the consequences if I did not. So at the age of 33, I find myself in a career I have no passion for, living in a city I don't like, with no hobbies or interests, with very few friends around me. Those friends that I do have have all moved on in their lives - in relationships, families of their own - while I remain stuck. Going around in circles adressing and re-adressing the same struggles with food and alcohol. These fillers obviously serving to soothe my pain and provide something to focus on other than what is the real problem. Because how do I get back to who I really am? I've not experienced being my authentic self since I was a very small child so I can't imagine ever getting back to that place of pure authenticity. What are the first steps? In the meantime I feel that I have built up layers and layers of filler around myself that are like a coat of armour weighing me down and distancing me from other people. How do I start to peel back those layers and get back to my real self?

annric08 said...

I feel like I have been living an inauthentic life since I was a child, always hoping to please my parents and fearful of the consequences if I did not. So at the age of 33, I find myself in a career I have no passion for, living in a city I don't like, with no hobbies or interests, with very few friends around me. Those friends that I do have have all moved on in their lives - in relationships, families of their own - while I remain stuck. Going around in circles adressing and re-adressing the same struggles with food and alcohol. These fillers obviously serving to soothe my pain and provide something to focus on other than what is the real problem. Because how do I get back to who I really am? I've not experienced being my authentic self since I was a very small child so I can't imagine ever getting back to that place of pure authenticity. What are the first steps? In the meantime I feel that I have built up layers and layers of filler around myself that are like a coat of armour weighing me down and distancing me from other people. How do I start to peel back those layers and get back to my real self?

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