If you are a curious person, you probably like to investigate the latest electronic gadgets, sports gear and vacation destinations. If you are a curious person who is searching for spiritual enlightenment, fulfillment or the best way to live and be happy, you may find yourself looking everywhere around you for the latest workshop, personal practice, or even the current trending guru.
I had to stop searching only the outside life and begin to explore the inside before I could find me, my real self and my reality — to say nothing of how I fit into the Spirit of all life around me. I had to find the authentic place of truth that I held and begin to trust it to lead the way to what I had been searching for. My happiness was in direct proportion to finding my “real-ness.”
Authenticity means truth. And truth is expressed differently in each and every one of us. We are usually programmed to believe there is one truth, one way to do things, and one acceptable way to live our lives. Of course, none of that has guaranteed happiness or anything close to it.
I found that the programming and belief systems I held had to be questioned and released in order for me to find my real truth. I am still decoding messages from the past and present and sending them to the recycle bin. They are not true for me.
It doesn’t matter if we are searching for spiritual truth, success, the right relationships or some kind of status that will bring meaning and happiness to our lives. What we find doesn’t last and sometimes feels like we are playacting, unless it resonates with the truth inside of us.
I have found two big practices on my road to authenticity, and I remind myself of them every day:
• The Present Moment — I remind myself to stay in the Present Moment of life. I have to remind myself, because I realize that I am thinking instead of experiencing. I go AWOL from the present when I find myself judging, worrying, evaluating and comparing. I am totally lost from what is truly real, which is the experience of now.
I find that the truth of my life is in the moment. I have experienced pain, loss, anger and joy in my moments; they are all part of my truth. I plan, daydream, anticipate and imagine like everyone else, and they are also my present moments. However, they are void of the stress, worry or pressure to perform because I am present, without that other shadow of thinking, that voice of judgment in my head. That kind of thinking is usually fueled by some software programming in me that I haven’t yet recognized or deleted.
• Become the Observer — When I catch myself in the the worry and negative self-evaluation, I stand back. I become the observer and explorer. I take on the job of unearthing the thought system that created that negation of myself, my strengths, my truth. Then I delete the thought and reaffirm my wholeness and my ability to move back to what life brings in the Present Moment.
How do I deal with all the people I meet who may not be “real?” I tell myself to “butt out.” It’s not my place to judge who is or is not real. We are all as real as we can be in every moment. We all hide some things from others when we choose to. We all have growth experiences that bring us closer to who we really are. Becoming authentic has been a lifelong journey for me. I’m always “on the road, again” to get there and stay there.
Our internal authentic truth is who we really are. We are strong beyond imagination, powerful beyond belief, and fully endowed with beauty and talent. We don’t have to pretend; we don’t have to search forever. Without a doubt, we already are who we have been searching for, just waiting for our own discovery.