A reassessment on being real: 5 ways to move towards authenticity

be real, be real son

about a year ago I wrote on this phrase and what it meant to be real. my goal was to encourage others to be real in efforts to try to build authenticity. I felt it was Ernest and honest, but what I have now realized is that my efforts were outward focused instead of focusing inward where the real value in transformation is. I have come to believe strongly that we must have inward transformation before transformation takes place outwardly. integrity must take place inwardly before it can be seen outwardly” Peter Scazzero
being real is not something that we should put priority on in expressing outwardly unless first we have been real with ourselves. there is a difference between processing authentically and putting on a front when expressing yourself. one comes from a place of saying I am unsure what is happening and I am still trying to figure it out and the other comes from a place of I got this I know who I am. don’t get me wrong it is great if you know who you are and you have the freedom to express that, but make sure it is authentic because if it is not then it can be noticed from a mile away.
I have realized that I thought I knew who I was but I was not really living as that person. this can get really confusing , so I will make it simple. I thought and believed I was a beloved child of god, but my real beliefs about myself were what I was living in. I guess you can say it was a convergence of walking the walk and talking the talk. authenticity was not what I was living in. I was trying, aiming, and saying I was this particular identity but that really was not me because it had not taken place inwardly. it was just something that I understood and wanted to try to live outwardly.

I think it would be valuable to share what I have learned, so here are 5 things to help us be real in an authentic way.
1 acknowledge your feelings and emotions. you were created with these for a reason so the more we ignore them the more we cover up who we really are. The more we dive into them the easier it will be to connect with the place of peace and joy
2 observe your feelings and emotions. this one is similar to the previous but a little bit different because observing means there is no judgement or action taken. it just looks like, hmm that’s interesting I am reacting that way
3 ask why. this is so uncomfortable, but so necessary. why am I feeling this way why are these emotions being stirred what is causing this reaction; are all healthy responses. Emotions can not be separated from your spirit and if you let them they will let you back to your creator.
4 dive into your past. our past defines us in so many ways and often it is the hurt and pain that are used to shape us. The goal is to understand the hurt and the painful experiences and come to terms with them, so that we can accept what has happened to us, who we are and who we can become. This is the essential part because this is the part that will allow us to flourish into our true identity, the beloved child, the sis our authentic self.
5 ask others what they observe and what they think. it is said we are our own worst critique, so let’s allow others to help us with some helpful observations of how you could love yourself better and love others better and become more authentic.

the season of life I am in right now has me in a difficult and grueling time. I have been humbled by it and been shown the hardness of my heart and the poverty of my spirit. I want the foundation of my life built on truth found in love, but that is not easy, in fact I was told there will be much suffering. I was walking by what sounded good for the longest time and if you are walking blindly that is a recipe for disaster, so, now, I am trying to blindly walk with faith.

changing the culture of asking questions: the importance of asking important questions

What if we did not need taboo anymore? What if we were able to talk about the important things with anybody? A scenario that I am imagining is you are out shopping and you run into a friend that you have not seen for a few months and instead of doing the standard how are you what have you been up to and all the other small talk tools, we ask how is your hope or what are you worshipping. Both sets of questions are essentially asking the same thing is your quality of life doing and is it satisfactory enough and how are you spending your time and your resources. How often do we tell people how we are really doing and how often do we really tell people what we have been doing? I would say not too often. What holds us back from saying what we really want in both the question and response?

How are you loving people?
Questions not only have the ability for you the recipient of the answer to be enlightened, but it gives the opportunity to the other person to let you in and to connect. A question is a proposal and it gives the other person the opportunity to engage. We can not engage much if we do not have much to engage too so asking the standard how are you and giving the automatic response of good or alright then there is not much to engage too. If you asked a question with some penetration to it then the ability to connect would be much greater. It may be uncomfortable and it may take some boldness at first, but those are not things to hide behind. We have the freedom to express how we feel and if it makes somebody uncomfortable they have the freedom to express that to you. asking questions is not only allows feedback to be given to the person asking the question but it is feedback to yourself and how you feel when something is asked. You learn about your feelings and how to express them, which is something that we all can continually be improving on.

Switching the culture of asking questions
Often we do not ask what we really want to ask because we are afraid of imposing or being to upfront. What I see behind this is fear. I recently spent some time in a completely different culture and one of the things that I was challenged with was the ability to just ask for something. I already have a tendency to be timid so the encouragement to ask for whatever I wanted was challenging for me. the sentiment I was told was if you have a desire or need we want to be able to meet it. so asking a question is opening the door for people to enter inn and care for you. when we ask a question we are saying I have a need and I am looking to engage with you. fortunately for us humans we all have an innate feature of desiring to connect with something and asking questions gives us that ability.

A restored utopia of question asking
I am not promoting sticking your finger in somebody else’s wounds by asking sensitive questions or inviting yourself into personal topics like sexual history, but what I am promoting is the opportunity to ask questions that are life giving and give us the ability to bond in the ways we long for. I understand we have topics that are taboo to talk about like politics, religion, war, communism, oppression, child rearing, god, colonialism and so on. Many of these are controversial issues mainly due to the differing perspectives of which they are viewed, but I am here to say those should not get in our way of asking questions. if we were to ask people what are you worshipping we would have a better understand of gods in our world, if we asked people how are you loving people we would have a better account of generosity and charity, if we ask how is your hope we would be able to focus on joy and peace more often, if we were to ask how are you caring for your community then we could understand the politics of the people and speak with a greater voice. See it is all about what we are asking and what we are willing to ask. Asking a question shows we are willing to widen our understanding, to learn, to engage, to connect, and to care. if you think this life has meaning and purpose then lets engage with others in it and a great way to start is by asking questions.
starting 7 months ago at the beginning of January I started writing down a question a day. This was to not only to take note of my wondrous mind, but to note thoughtful questions to engage with others in that I don’t think should go to waste. We are creatures with great minds, we think in great complex ways, we are thoughtful, we wonder, so let’s share that. What are 3 questions that you would like to normalize in your question asking utopia?
Mine are: 1 what are you worshipping? 2 how is your hope doing? 3 how are you loving?

Let’s be question askers.