“We all live searching for that one possible way of being that carries with it the gift of authenticity. We are most conscious of this search for identity during adolescence, when it takes front stage. At this stage of life we try on identities like clothing, looking for a style of being that fits with how we want to be seen. But even long after adolescence has passed, most adults know the occasional feeling of being a fraud—a sense of being not what they pretend to be but rather precisely what they pretend not to be.” Benner, David G.
In a world of fakes we all search for authenticity. We live in a society that prides itself on conformity. Our styles are led by Hollywood and popular music. We work usually at becoming what will make us accepted, instead of what we truly are. Everything from the clothes we where to the homes and cars we buy. Even the friends we have in our lives. We fit in as much as we can, and do our best to learn and conform to the rules. And we have all tasted the rejection when we don’t fit in.
People have always admired authenticity in others. We all have hero’s that led from who they were and strove not to fit what society told them to be, but instead discovered themselves and entered life from a place of confidence and security which drew many people to them. People like Gandhi and Martin Luther King and Mother Teresa. People who just lived life knowing who they were and rising to the challenge to be themselves no matter what happened.
Authenticity is defined as;
- real or genuine : not copied or false
- true and accurate
- not false or imitation:real, actual
- true to one’s own personality, spirit, or character
- being really what it seems to be
We all have the ability to be authentic, and to make a serious impact on our world and our society. But only if we make the journey to discover who we truly are can we actually be authentic. Making the journey allows us to strip away all the things that family and society formed in and around us that are not us. At times this can be painful because some of our actions are determined by protecting us from painful memories and situations. As we journey we begin to separate who we actually are from who we were made to be. We may find our choices changing. We may even begin to actually like ourselves.
All of this happens as we make the effort to discover the roots of our behaviors, and to start making choices based on who we are and not who we were told to become. Jesus was a man who deeply knew Himself. There was a complete confidence in Him that allowed Him to face every obstacle and difficulty. His purpose and presence was based in who He was. And regardless of if you believe He was God or not He changed His world powerfully.
It is within us all to be world changers. To seize the moments of life given to us and to live them for all they are worth. This can happen as we discover ourselves and truly become authentic.