What is an authentic life? How do we stay true to ourselves when we are being bombarded with societal expectations? What are the spiritual implications for not living our truth?
Some pretty heavy questions for a Monday but an important conversation to have with yourself. I feel blessed in having been born with a stubborn temperament. While this has created some unique challenges growing up, it has also allowed me to dig my feet in about the things I love and how I choose to live my life. When I wanted to study Egyptian hieroglyphs, one summer at the age of eight, my family made strange faces for a few days but eventually shrugged it off as yet another quirk. When I started writing novels at the age of fourteen for fun, no one batted an eye.
Now in my 40s, practicing Japanese flower arrangement, watching Korean dramas, collecting vintage Hawaiian muumuus, and studying shamanism would be a regular weekday. Remaining unapologetically single and choosing to spend time traveling and doing animal rescue instead of having children, I would be lying if I said people smiled, nodding politely about my choices. Instead, I have been questioned about multiple aspects of my life, pressured to get married and carry on the family line, and called selfish by strangers, friends, and loved ones who have struggled to understand my disregard for common conventions. So why continue to buck the norm?
The truth is I don’t always. There are some things I like and am passionate about that fits in nicely with the norm. Ignoring the fact that I naturally like certain things that others do would be just as inauthentic as pretending to not like something because the majority doesn’t like it.
I follow the pulling of my heart, the intuition of my gut, and the curiosities of my mind. I dance in the joy of knowing that when my eyes finally close on this world that I lived the life I wanted to and no one else’s version of what it should have been. How will I grow spiritually if I don’t allow myself to live the life I am meant to learn in? My highest goal is to always move towards spiritual growth and that means making choices for a life well crafted in authenticity, honesty, and curiosity.
When we live in our truth, we inspire and empower others to live in theirs.