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What Being Authentic Really Means

advanced personal growth work cptsd Apr 19, 2022

I used to think of authenticity as one of my highest values, but now I know I got it all wrong.  I thought I was being authentic and prided myself on it – maybe even felt a little superior about possessing the quality.  This weekend I had two separate moments of wisdom, magic and synchronicity that shattered my formal and kinda pitiful view of authenticity.

Looking back, I think my authenticity had more to do with trying to be a good girl.  All the self-help authors told me to be authentic, therefore, I shall be authentic.  The truth is that I was selectively authentic.  I was authentic with my therapist, with a few recovery friends, in recovery rooms and with my husband and family.  AND I was inauthentic with all of those people too.  Was I completely honest about my relapses? How about when I was feeling really down or being a fucking weirdo and kept it hidden to be accepted?  Don’t even get me started on the extent of how I inauthentically didn’t acknowledge my wants and needs in relationships (hi fawns).

I promise I’m not being mean to myself.  Of course, authenticity is on a continuum for all of us.  What does it even mean to be 100% authentic?  I could say, in this moment, I’m being 100% authentic and mean it to the depths of my soul.  Also, I’m wearing clothes, lashes, fake hair, and make-up.   Same. 

I attended a Jungian workshop last weekend and the teacher had Gandalf energy so you know I was fully enthralled.  He asked what did being authentic mean to us.  He then said that the root of the word authentic is “author.”  For those of us who are doing the Advanced Personal Growth Work of becoming as whole as we can in this fucking lifetime (aka individuation), all that is asked of us as far as being authentic is concerned is that we stay as conscious as we can so that we can be the intentional authors of our life. 

A synchronicity came a few days later, while I was watching Drag Race España. This Pedro Almodóvar quote came up: “The closer we are to what we dreamed of for ourselves, the more authentic we are.”  Not only did that give me even more validating permission to take the responsibility to be the author my life, but for me to be an Authentic Advanced Bitch, it must look as close to my dreams and as magical as I can possibly get it.


Magical Assignment:

If it’s true that the closer we are to what we dreamed of for ourselves, the more authentic we are, where are you the most authentic in your life right now?  


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