On Being Authentic

Have you noticed how many books, articles, etc. there are on ‘being authentic’?

It seems to be a very sought after state of ‘being’.  Why do you suppose that is? 

Is it because so many of us don’t feel authentic now?  Or is it because we assume we’re not being authentic?  And how does one know what authentic is or feels like if we don’t think we are already??

I read that we, as children (from an early age on) tended to do and act in ways that our parents would  approve of; in order to get their love and attention.  That as small children we are told we should act certain ways, be a certain way, talk certain ways, etc., etc., in order to fit in and be ‘acceptable’ in society.  And that when we behaved in ways not in accordance with our parents/teachers/other adults’ views, we met with forms of punishment, whether verbally or otherwise.

And by following along with this pattern all our growing-up years we fell into the routine.  After we grew up we again had to learn how to deal with life in our new, adult world.   Instead of being our authentic selves we, again, began to live a life of how we thought we should live.  Just as we did as small children.

It’s kind of like we’re all actors in a play that someone else has written. And, by following along with the script, we come to identify with these ideas of who we are as our ‘true selves’. Really getting into character, so to speak.

Only when we begin to question things about our selves do we realize a discrepancy.

I’ve often wondered if my personality is my ‘true’ personality or one I’ve honed all these years.

The personality I have now seems so different and so far removed from the one I remember having as a child, growing up. I feel comfortable with my personality.  I don’t feel as though I’m not being ‘real’.

So, which is it?  Was the childhood personality the real personality and I grew into this one?

Or is the personality I have now the authentic one that was ‘suppressed’ in some way when I was younger?

Pretty interesting stuff.

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