hidden beneath the layers
Have you ever been in the company of someone who is so completely themselves, so comfortable in their own skin, that you actually feel more like yourself as a result? There is something energizing and hopeful about a person whose layers of self-protection have been stripped away; whose imperfection is the exact thing they thrive on and we love.
Kids do it naturally (see video below), but the world doesn’t exactly encourage us to stay that way. There are so many demands to conform to in religious, educational, gender and familial structures, it is easy to end up believing we aren’t good enough just as we are.
If you’ve never watched Brene Brown's TED talk about the power of vulnerability, go look it up and get ready to feel that energizing and hopeful energy I mentioned. She’s had the courage to strip away her own layers of self-protection, and the result has been overwhelmingly positive. Everyone wants to be Brene Brown because she has figured out how to do what most of us fear the most.
Being our true selves.
One of the things I’ve noticed throughout my life is that the people we have the most reason to fear are the people who are the most disconnected from themselves. Bullies and tyrants will do anything to avoid the very human vulnerabilities that we all feel. They’re too scared to be vulnerable. So they show a face to the world that gives them a sense of power, and the more power they feel, the more they’re willing to do to keep it.
I really want to live in a world where authenticity is the gold standard that people aspire to. Can you imagine how fabulous that would be? Nobody trying to impress or outdo or manipulate anyone else? Ahhh, says the idealist in me :)
We can’t get there without self-reflection. That’s just one of a million reasons I am such an advocate of self-expressive arts. Meeting your real self on the page is not just energizing, it improves your health and sense of well-being. And it transforms you into a better version of yourself.
Do you really want to live your whole life and have no idea who you are? Talk about a deathbed regret.
Get out your bucket list and put being authentic on it! (Then watch this video and get inspired :)