Quest of Authenticity

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Being true to myself is the hardest thing I have ever done. It takes a ton of energy and I'm lazy. I thought that I'd be able to just walk around and exclaim to the world that I have decided to just do and be me and that would be that. That everyone else would just go with it. But no, that's not what happened at all! I became a loser. People whom I thought would support me "finding myself," rejected me. Some told me that they no longer liked me, some started talking about me behind my back, and some just ghosted me completely. A few, indirectly, let me know that I was being "a bit much for them" in my quest to just be me. They didn't like it for some reason. With all that rejection and loss, I almost have up. I mean who could blame me for feeling the way I did? My life got really small and really dark really quickly. This hurt and totally sucked.

But I have a hard head, at least this was said to me a lot as a child. So being the determined individual I am I continued on my quest. I mean, what was the worst that could happen? I'd be alone? Well, at least I liked who I was becoming and that was worth the solitude to me. But honestly, I was becoming totally exhausted. 

Then, something amazing began to happen: other people who are their authentic selves started popping up in my life. At first it was weird. I was like, "are they just here to make fun of me?" Because if that was the case, I was more than ready to treat their appearance like a good old fashioned game of whack-a-mole! Fortunately for them my mallet was busy hammering out things that were not going to allow me to stay on my task of being true to me so they were spared and I started having real relationships with really true people. People who inspire and like me to be true to myself. People who get inspiration from me being true to myself. 

Now, I have an exchange of positive energy and the hard part is typically because part of being me is really liking sleep so most mornings I don't want to get out of dream land. I have also observed that a another good thing is what was lost on this quest of authenticity is not missed. Not at all. The more I do it, the easier it is. Go figure.

How I Learned To Love & Like Me

Some time after we are born, sometimes, we forget or stop liking and loving ourselves. I know that I did. The reasons are multitudinous for why this happens. Typically it will involve a feeling of insecurity about ourselves, or a feeling of loathing that comes due to feeling/being different or not "normal." These negative thoughts and feelings are then confirmed in some way, real or implied, during the course of our interactions with people and the world around us.

Some of us get through the bad feelings and are able to abolish the negative thoughts fairly early or before they are able to stick with us. Some of us are not able to rid ourselves of the feelings and thoughts that don't serve us. It wasn't until my 30's that I began to recognize and tackle the negativity that kept me from loving and liking me. Once the process began, it wasn't easy, but by not giving up and reminding myself, sometimes moment by moment, that I was good and worthy of love--for, and from myself--negativity began to weaken and the positivity became stronger.

Below are some of the things that I did, and still do, to learn to love and like me:
  • I stopped trying to live up to the expectations of everyone except myself

  • I got to know myself so that I could authentically be myself

  • I embraced and learned to love all of my emotions

  • I learned how to meditate

  • I learned how to regularly speak life to myself and actively work to challenge and rid myself of negative self-talk

  • I made friends and regularly spend time with others who challenge and inspire me to be the best I can be and I do the same for them. 

  • I created a mission and vision for myself that resonates with who I am and endeavor to live my mission and vision daily.

It's never too late to start loving and liking yourself. In the words of RuPaul: "If you can't love yourself how the hell you gonna love somebody else?"