The Brave and Joyous Path of the Authentic Self

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Living as our authentic self.  Re-finding our true spirit.  Beyond the “I am’s” and the perceptions, tapping into that inner spirit of self.

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So many years or decades of being told by person or society or self what you are.  Who you are.  What you can be (what you can’t be.)  What you should believe (what you shouldn’t believe.)  Of morphing and changing and wrapping ourselves up in layers to appease people.  To make my parents proud.  To be a proper spouse.  To be a good mother or aunt or friend.  It can take years or decades to unravel each layer.

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When we no longer follow the religion we once did.  When we can no longer go back to that way of thinking.  We trepidly take off that wrapping around us and peer into the next layer.  Relieved of our wrapping,  we look different to the world around us.

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A student of mine came out yesterday on her private social media page announcing her new love.  She went through a divorce since I have seen her.  She is a firey, gorgeous woman with so much love to give.  She wrote the most lovely testament to love and security and respect and a glowing introduction of the absolute love of her life.  A photograph with her new love, a woman, took me by surprise for but a moment.  Her words were so happy, so true.  The bravery that must have taken.  And that she has found her love, her sidekick.  I have such joy for her.  But when she took off that outer wrapping of who she should love, she may have looked different to those around her.

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Our careers can dictate what we look like, how people see us.  Indeed our very fashion sense revolves around our work.  Our circles, our thoughts, our goals.  And when those careers end or need to change, we are left with wrapping paper all around us and a new look that we don’t quite yet know what to do with.  Let us not quickly wrap ourselves in a new sheet of paper!

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And with every layer that we can remove, we get closer to the source of us.  Our own glowing, beautiful self.  Closer to the questions at hand:

What do I love?

Who do I love?

Where do I love?

Who is that lovely being in the mirror?

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How do we get to that point?  Where we are standing naked beneath all the layers for all the world to see?  Where all of our tribal members, those that know us and love us truly for our own self can finally recognize us?  Ah, my dears, let us strive for this with all our might.  Let this be our goal.  That we no longer put up facades to please the public or those near.  That we find out what we love and why.  Who we love.  Where we want to be.  Let us find ourselves at five years old and ask her questions.  Let us be our most authentic selves.  Take all of your experiences and lives and paths and let them culminate within you as lessons and maps.  Now breathe them in, now breathe it all out.  Let us emanate joy.  Let us shine.

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