Signs That You are Becoming an Authentic Person

I am always wary of books and such that offer promises of happiness, or whatever, in three, or five, or even seven easy steps.  Do you notice that easy steps usually come in odd numbers, but you never see nine, eleven, or thirteen easy steps?  After seven easy steps, you will see a jump to ten easy steps, because ten is a number that even those of us who hate numbers can like.  Odd numbers are good up to seven, it seems, and then we move into the realm of ten or twelve steps.

As an aside, odd numbers are also best for any kind of floral or table or candle arrangement.  You will have to trust me on this one.  If you want to give someone a balloon bouquet, pick three or five balloons, never four or six.  It just will not look as appealing, and that is your Suzy Homemaker decor tip for today.  Odd numbers win when it comes to most the most appealing decorative arrangements.

Have enough faith that you can be authentic and still be loved.

Back to the topic we go now.  I do believe that happiness is an intentional choice that you have to make every day, and that you will probably have to do a lot of work to make it an ingrained habit.  You may have to change the way you see things, and react to things.  You will have to turn those negative messages in your head into positive ones.  You will probably also have to change the way that you view yourself, treat yourself, and care for yourself.  You will have to learn to reframe life circumstances and interactions with other people.  You will have to let go of blame and grudge hold and the need to always be right.  You will have to be grateful as much as possible.  You will have to be forgiving.  You will have to get rid of old, worn out, ineffective, coping mechanisms and trade them in for new, healthy ones.  None of that stuff happens overnight.  It takes a lot of work, and willingness, and many more choices, and action, and actual change, over and over and over again.   It cannot be accomplished in three, five, or even seven easy steps.  It is an ongoing process.  Sorry for the bad news so early in the week!

The good news is that the really super cool thing about making the choice to be happy is that, along the way, you are apt to discover your authentic self, and unlock the door, and let the real you out of wherever you have been hiding yourself.  Again, you will not wake up one morning, look in the mirror and exclaim, “Oh, look!  It’s the authentic me and I look mah-vel-ous!”  It did not happen that way for me, anyway.  If it happened like that for you, I would love to hear from you because that must have been one great day, and I love to hear about people and great things happening to them.

Finding my authentic self took a lot of work, and years of peeling off layers, and digging through a lot of muck and garbage until I found the core of my personal pain.  Once I found that core– that pain– I brought it out from down in the depths of my soul and I carried it up into the light of day and then I released it.  That did not happen in one day, or even seven, or ten days.   It took a while, with rest stops along the way, and missteps, and back steps, and the Texas two-step.  Finally, I did it, though.  However, I suspect I am not fully there even now.  I do know, with completely honesty and clarity, that I am far more authentic today than I was a year or two ago, and do not even ask me to look back to three or five or seven years ago.  Gads!

If you have been sitting there reading this thinking that I am fixin’ to tell you how to become a more authentic person in three, five, or seven easy steps, I am not.  No-can-do, I am afraid.  After all, I barely know you.  We have only just met!  It would be highly presumptuous of me to think that I know the road anyone must follow to become authentic.  We are all unique.  Your road will be different from mine, and besides, I really do not recommend my route to anyone, even if I do not care for you a whole lot, because it was rough.   No, what I plan to do is give you some signs that you are becoming a more authentic person.  I do not know at this moment in there will be an even number of signs, or an odd number, so we will find out together!

1.  The first sign for me was that I truly was happier more of the time.  Because I was finally being true to myself, I was happy with the choices that I was making, and with the people who were in my life.  Good choices, good people, all good.

2.  I found that I had stopped caring what other people thought of me.  I am who I am and I worked hard to get to me, so as long as I know and feel that I am being true to myself, and am adhering to my beliefs, and enforcing my boundaries in a kind fashion, it is okay if you do not like me.  Frankly, most people do like me, and that is lovely, but I am all good with the few who do not.  I do not need to be liked by everyone anymore.

3.  I am far more honest.  Now, we all know that active alcoholics lie a lot.  It is the nature of the disease beast.  Also, as Dr. House points out, everyone lies.  However, there was a time in my life, even when sober, that I would lie because I was afraid people could not accept the truth, or that I would somehow be punished if I told the truth.  As I have become more authentic it would seem that I have also become more firm in maintaining my integrity, and I also put on my big girl panties, too.  I have no reason to lie now.  Sure, I may still be inclined to tell you that your butt does not look big in those jeans, but so few people ask me that question, it is a fairly moot point.  If I tell you that you look nice, I mean it.  I do not do false flattery anymore.  Also, if I “liked” your blog post, I did actually read it.  The flip side of this is that I have a far lower tolerance for dishonesty in others that I care about and trust.  I love myself too much to allow myself to be treated that way anymore.

4.  I no longer always need to be right.  As the adage goes, “Would you rather be right, or would you rather be happy”?  I would rather be happy so I do not need to be right all of the time anymore.  I also feel very little need to become defensive when someone points out that I may have behaved in a manner that might not have been particularly wonderful.  Instead of arguing, now I simply acknowledge the truth, and say, “You’re right.  I am sorry.”

5.  I take full ownership of my behavior, be it good, or bad.  I apologize.  If the problem is squarely mine, I admit it.  I still make mistakes, I still do dumb things, I am far more human than ever, but that is okay.  People really seem to like people who are human and know it and admit it and own it.  It is more than kind of cool to be fully responsible for myself.  I do not need to blame anyone, nor am I looking for a knight in shining armor around every corner.

6.  I feel lighter—oh-so-much-lighter!  I do not have to carry around various masks and disguises to change the way I present myself to the vast number of people in my life.  I have nothing that I feel that I need to hide.  I feel bold, and colorful, and vivid, and free!

7.  You now get to be whoever you are, too.  I have no need to change anyone anymore.  I hate to see people miserable and in pain and unhappy and if you ask for my help or advice, I will give it, and if you choose another path, that is cool.  It is also cool if you choose not to change.  If you want to be unhappy then I have no right to tell you to be otherwise.  I am not inside of your head.  I do not know your hurts or your motivations.  I will pray for you, though, and you cannot stop me from doing that.

Looky!  It is an odd number!  It is a good thing, too, because had it not been seven I would have had to proceed forward all of the way to ten and that might have been stretching it.  For me, were I prone to doing stuff like cost/benefit analysis types of things, which I am not, the benefits of doing whatever you have got to do to continue to move closer to your authentic self would far outweigh the cost.

I still have a way to go yet.  I can still be too nice sometimes, if there is such a thing, and there is.  I can still hold back the truth to avoid hurting someone’s feelings, even though I am fully aware that I can present the truth in such a way that little harm will be done.  Each day I take another step forward, and that is all any of us can do.  Give me a little more time and I just might have ten signs of authenticity.  You just never know!

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36 thoughts on “Signs That You are Becoming an Authentic Person

  1. Pingback: SignsThat You are Becoming an Authentic Person | Natural Beauty and Skin Care Made Easy

  2. Wow! I am so blessed. As I progress down my own path toward authenticity, I now have your blog from today as one more tool in my toolbox labeled “Getting to Know Me”. I live a life of wonder and discovery and I can always go to my toolbox for help when I momentarily forget this basic truth. Thank you for the gift of your blog.
    Paula

    • Roots, my I call you roots? I think becoming honest with ourselves takes a lot of courage. I know when I started being honest with myself, I wasn’t especially pleased with what I saw. However, once I became aware of it, and owned it, then I had the power to change it. I am also sure that more will be revealed…;-)

      • Yes you can call me roots 🙂 That’s where I’m at. Being honest and not always liking what I see. Trying to be OK with what is, while I gain the power to change. Life may be challenging, frustrating, scary – but it sure is fascinating!

  3. This made me laugh:

    Also, if I “liked” your blog post, I did actually read it.

    Hahahahaha! I love when people write something that is just slightly off enough so that I can tell they skimmed. WHat’s the point?

    But for real, I admire you so much for figuring out who yuu really are. Sometimes when you write these posts I feel confused. And afraid. Because I know some things that I would like to change but that would have far-reaching consequences that would hurt a lot of people. I guess that’s the place where I care about other people. I don’t want to be judged as a person who hurt other people. It’s hard, almost impossible, for me to put myself and what feel like my selfish desires BEFORE what I am pretty sure is my authentic self. Does that even make sense?

  4. Wonderful post full of truth and wisdom…. I used to get quite annoyed (years back) when hearing yet another would be sage tell how life can be wonderful when we take the time to incorporate a few mental/emotional ‘tricks’ into our lives… Quite the contrary… I’ve been working for years upon myself and still I’m climbing that spiral though, granted, it is now quite a lovely spiral with a lovely view..! It has, and will continue to be a never ending path to an ever greater perspective, with all the associated changes occurring within bringing an even greater appreciation of life, love and reality…. Thank You for being a little bit of ‘fresh air’ in that reality of life…!

    • Carolyn, could it be that some people come through life relatively intact, and just need a little tweaking with three easy steps? I do not know too many of those folks, but just maybe they are out there. 😉 Or, maybe, most people are dying for a quick fix because the real fix takes so much work and courage. I am so glad you chose the real fix, because, as you said, the view is lovely, even if we are not at the top yet! Thank you!

  5. This post really spoke to me…I thought I’d relate to one or two of your seven more than the others, but I kept saying to myself “Yep, and this one, and this one, too!” Although I do not relate to being an alcoholic I have had a similar journey it seems.

    My journey has also been long, hard, and full of missteps. I’m not “there” yet either but I am sooooo much healthier and happier than I was.

    Great post!

    • Denise, I think a lot of people relate even if alcoholism isn’t a part of their story. I am so glad that you are well on your way, and that I am not the only misstep maker! One ting I know, it is just going to keep getting better—for both of us! Thank you!

  6. The whole mask thing, I know this is meant as a internal showing to the external; but for me it was more. For me it was I know longer had to get out of bed thirty minutes earlier to put on my mask (make-up) so people wouldn’t see me. Does that sound crazy? I don’t even know when this transition took place, can’t put my finger on that moment in time when I just said no more. Somewhere along the line though I said to my inner self, no more hiding.

    I am still on a very long journey, I stumble all to often and my knees take a great number of bruises so do the palms of my hands as I try to catch my falls. I am trying to walk this path.

    I loved these steps. I would like to get there quicker, but I will wait taking the time necessary.

    • Val, the whole external mask makes perfect sense. I rarely wear makeup anymore–only for the odd special event, because it shocks people..LOL. What you see is what you get—that’s my motto. I have friends in the 70’s who still won’t go out without full face paint and ever hair in place. Who’s got the time? I am sure I will fall many more times, I am rather klutzy, but as for the speed, I am not going anywhere! Thank you so much!

  7. For sure no one ever gives Six or Four Steps to whatever health get rich get awesome scheme! Or eight or nine for that matter! I feel as if I must throw down the gauntlet, but damnit, I cannot get my mind around the unsettling concept of a top eight anything lol!!

    Great post, my friend. And you’d better never tell me my butt looks fat lol.

    • Ms. El, you are a gauntlet thrower, but I just never pick those things up. I am not as competitive as you. I flee from competition, unless it is a word game. Maybe I will write a guest blog post for you on the top eight reasons we get along so well although we are quite different. How’s that?

      • LOL! I would love that! I wish you could see me grinning! Oh my gosh, hun, I am so awfully competitive–I own that! But I do hope you know it’s part of my good-natured, tomboyish ebullient nature. Gah. I can’t even play Ping-Pong or Checkers without keeping score (and trying to cream the opposition–with lots of grins of course).

  8. This post really “hit home” with me. I agree 100%. Those quick and easy books…well, they’ve never been something i’ve been a believer in. Thanks for the tips tho’ i find i still have work to do on some of your points, but i too feel like i’m in a much better place now as opposed to THEN. But some day I WILL be an even more authentic person, than I am today. I totally enjoyed this post! loved the mirror mention on the day of realization… 🙂 ; I’ve been waiting for a day like that myself…but for the time being, it’s nose to the grindstone! Cheers!

    • How did I miss this comment? I hate it when I miss comments. Please accept my apologies! Nose to the grindstone we will both go, because I am not getting any younger, so looking it the mirror is rarely a huge treat anymore…LOL. People are still churning out those quick fix books, and they are probably making a lot of money, too. Not from me, though…not from me.

  9. I think you could write about this countless more times and people would love to read your comments. Authentic is about liking who you are, accepting the parts that are less than lovely and continuing to be view one’s self as a work in progress. You my friend are farther ahead than most..

    • Thank you, Mimi, and I *do* know that—I see people every day who are miserable and living a life of unhappiness, or a life that is a lie. I would love it if everyone could know just how good it feels to be on the road to authenticity, but I have had to accept that, for whatever reason, it is not something everyone wants. Something is too scary, or painful. I love ’em anyway. Xoxoxo

  10. Excellent post! This is very much the path I’m on at the moment, the path of Authenticity 🙂 I can very much relate to all 7 (it’s a good number!) points.

    Thanks for sharing your experiences 🙂

    Rohan.

    • Thank you, Rohan, and welcome to my blog! Yes, I do like the number seven, too. I have seven children. 😉 Congratulations on being on the right road and than you for your kind words!

  11. I can sooo identify with your entire post, including the groupings of odd things, since it is also true in photography. I am also reminded of a quote by Sandra Galati, who said, “The freedom I feel when I’m genuinely me far outweigh any acceptance I receive when I pretend to be someone I’m not.”

    Thank you so much for liking and actually reading my post, too. 🙂

  12. First of all – yes to the odd numbers – even for planting flowers and trees, and arranging jugs or whatever on the dresser!
    Then, second of all, as my son used to say… love what you wrote, and especially love how you wrote – no frills – just the truth – full -on .Did I say ‘just’ – yes, I meant with no frills.
    Yes, nearly 75, still counting, still stumbling, still learning… still wearing lipstick – not for ‘them’,but for me- I like to try to look good, wrinkles, and all.
    The bliss is – no more victim, no more beating myself up, just liking myself, and valuing who I am.
    This seems to add up to being happy..Lovely post thank you….

    • Hi Valerie! Yes, odd numbers are so much prettier, which is why I have never understood the dozen roses thing! Odd numbers is any sort of arrangement adds something to draw the eye…beauty. Even numbers in arrangements is stale, too uniform, and well, just not right!
      Thank you for your very kind words, Valerie! Some of my best friends are 74, 76, 77 years old. I wear lipstick to bed, just because I want to and I can, and I wear pretty jammies, or nighties, every night, and it is just for me. The best part is not being a victim anymore, but just being me, huge mistakes and all! I love happy!

  13. “Frankly, most people do like me, and that is lovely, but I am all good with the few who do not. I do not need to be liked by everyone anymore.”
    Of all seven, this one came to me last. I am free of that inner child wanting everyone and their mother (actually!) to like me. I am not a people-pleaser anymore. And in combination with my honesty, happiness, and relinquishing the need to always be right, I am free!! It’s such a simpler and more peaceful life I am leading today in comparison to 24 months ago. I don’t recognize THAT woman any more. Thank you, Ann!

    • That you, Paula! I am still growing, as always, but it gets so much easier all of the time! Yes, I do not know that woman anymore!

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