Searching for authenticity…
4 Years ago I wrote an article for a Bulgarian magazine. Now with a help from a friend of mine Simone Gribble, I have translated it in English and I am sharing it with you. It is difficult to translate an emotion in a different language, so I really hope this will actually make sense to at least some of you.
The story goes like this…hello world, happy kid, school, painting, not good enough for art school, work, tourism college, love, work, fun, work, fun, no love, work, stress, work, stress, disappointment, work, bitterness, broken heart, work, work, love, work, change, stress, responsibilities, panic, hospital, quit job, move… sigh.
For many, the path to authentic creative energy goes through the total denial of it. As if you have to get the starring role on the scene of life and only by falling off the stage find your real genuine self.
That real, genuine self will be the guide to a realized life, where failure has a different meaning, where communication with people is on another level and in which the contentment of your existence will overshadow the simple yet cruel worries of everyday life.
We have been conditioned since childhood to fear and be ashamed and hide our authentic selves in almost every aspect of our lives. Twisted by society to the breaking point we lose our intuition and dive into life with gear that doesn’t fit us at all. As we go through life we constantly collect new masks. Never discarding the old ones but only to add them to our ever-growing collection that we revisit again and again.
We have no desire to take a look in the mirror, for all we see is an unfamiliar face we don’t really like. We despise ourselves, our work weighs us down. We communicate in a shallow and half-hearted manner. Our conversations with other people either burden us or serve to vent our pent-up anger.
Then follows guilt, self-pity, and yet another mask. No wonder that after these long exhausting theatrics we collapse on the stage with tremendous intensity. Often so heavy, that we have no strength to get up — the weight of our distorted self has crushed us to the breaking point.
To find your authentic self does not mean to leave the stage — on the contrary, becoming a sincere and genuine character makes the screenplay clearer and the role much easier to play. This easier role you can find by looking not too far back. Remember 15–20 years ago? What was the thing that made you glow, dance, sing, and create without really being an artist? Remember those school subjects that you were great at, not because you memorized the books but because you were sincere in the desire to learn, express and take an active part in life.
This epiphany not only takes you back to your long lost passion to write poetry, but it also comes with the ability to learn new things very quickly. I have met people that changed their lives after a stressful moment in their life, women making a U-turn after giving birth, or after a heavy health challenge. For each one there was this moment of “click”, a turning point, a transformation. They are no longer in the dull everyday rhythm, but rather looking for a way to express their authenticity through new more meaningful activities. They are no longer seduced by the financial benefit of a business but are looking to enjoy what they do, to grow spiritually and to have real human interactions.
Starting over is not easy. We are used to spoiling ourselves by satisfying our un-necessities. We are used to feeding this lost character with his false desires. But the result is freedom. Freedom to be your true self without judging to make mistakes without punishing yourself, to be humble and take responsibility for what you do, because this is your real passion.
Authenticity has another benefit — being real you naturally surround yourself with like-minded people, who are contributing to your development in a positive way and with which you have a real connection, even when you are just sitting in silence together. Because when you stop judging yourself you don’t see any point in judging others. You stop being annoyed at people you don’t like. Accepting yourself is accepting others.
So, the road to authenticity goes through the different phases of the fall — the disappointment and bitterness of your own decisions in order to reach a world, where your eyes are wide open, your ears are hearing even the unspoken words and your mouth is speaking only the truth. It is never too late to transform your life, your work, your relationships by finding the real you. It is never too late to be genuinely happy.
And don’t search too far away; it is you that you are looking for anyway…