What does it mean to live an authentic life? This seems to be a question so many people are asking themselves these days. Whether it be for personal development, increasing the quality of our service to others, or developing genuine relationships. We yearn for clarity into the depths of our lives. However, this is a question that has been asked for centuries, and it is in the passing of those many years that we continue to search for a meaningful answer.
Living authentically is not just about “keeping it real” or “telling the truth” … It is deeply rooted in the daily practice of finding meaning and purpose. It is the process of sincerely exploring the journey that you were placed on this earth to travel. Searching deeply within for our own personal authentic expression is the beginning to all outward understanding, and direction. The inclinations of what matter most to us grow in proportion to how often we choose the path of leaning into ourselves and searching deeply within. The problem is; that is often a very frightening place to go. We must dig deep enough to find within the mess of who we are and be courageous enough to untangle the uncertainty of who we believe we have the potential to become. Most importantly, we must share that story. Unapologetically, at least to ourselves, if to no one else.
It is through our primal instinct of storytelling that we capture our quest towards an authentic life. Danish author Isak Dinesen writes, To be a person is to have a story to tell. Life-stories are the measuring sticks we use to shape meaning in our lives. Stories help us define our own authentic identity by assisting in our search to answer the question; who am I? They give us a reflective lens in which we are able to hold ourselves accountable for our expressions, our revelations, and our discoveries; if we so chose. If it were not for life-stories and self-narratives, we would remain in a lost wander in this world. Never forming direction. We must nurture them responsibly. Treating them with the reverence deserved, as they hold the power to unfold the path to an authentic life that we so deeply crave.
As we search together for the meaning of our lives, through the stories we share, and the love we spread, we grow in proportion a sharpness, a specificity, and an understanding to the lives we ought to begin to live.