What constitutes our authentic selves? Who are we truly? What is our real purpose?
I try to be honest. I do not like it when people lie to me, and my basic assumption in life is that people will not lie to me. I choose to, in general, be a trusting person. Finding our truly authentic, or real, self, involves being able to dig underneath all the accumulated layers of crud that we pile onto our own perception of ourselves, and find the reality that constitutes our true core being. It means not deceiving ourselves. If we want to find authenticity, we have to have the courage to be really and truly honest with ourselves.
For me this means trying to ask myself, what is it that I truly want? What do I really need? Who am I? Am I defined by others, or myself, or by some higher power?
If I want to be really honest with myself, I have nobody to blame when it comes to who I am. I contain the product of all the environmental inputs I’ve ever taken in over the course of my lifetime, but part of that is also my own thought process, my own concept of who I am, my own beliefs about my purpose. Others do not define me. Even my parents, who maybe have had the most influence over my development as a person, do not define who I get to be, what I do, what I will accomplish in life. My DNA does not define me. My surroundings do not define me.
Authenticity means what is true or real. We can observe this by looking at actions and results. While actions do not always map to intentions, they come pretty close most of the time. If we are acting with intentionality, thoughtfulness and purpose, our actions should reflect who we are. I am defined by my actions.
What I do is who I am.
Only by recognizing this, and living accordingly, can I express who I really am inside. Every day I need to examine what I am doing and make sure that it represents my most true and authentic self.
I think it will make me a happier person in the long run.