the pendulum swing

In the quest to discover authenticity, I think I’ve come up empty handed.  I can provide myself with similar words like sincerity and genuineness.  I can rely on all those quality character terms and phrases we so often revert to, like “who am I when nobody is looking.” 

But, all of that feels … forced…flat…phony.

When I look at defining authenticity, I feel like there is a pendulum swing.  I go from the extreme of “this is who I really am,” to “this is who I’m not.”  

What I mean is that I have seasons where I have to prove who I am.   

I am smart.

I am successful.

I am worthy.

Then, I realize what I am doing and I swing to the other extreme.  I start trying to show people what I’m not.

I’m not judgmental.

I’m not perfect.

And, somehow, in the process, I lose what true authenticity is.  It’s just being.  It’s just living.  It’s just oozing who you are.  It’s that place of habitually being yourself to the point you can’t help yourself.  

In that place, I no longer have to justify myself by presenting either extreme.  A person can look at me and see it.  They can see what drives me.  They can see what causes me to weep…to laugh…to feel at my depth.  They can see what fuels my processing…my relationships.  

They can see ME!

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3 thoughts on “the pendulum swing

  1. Great post Lindsey! Being authentic has been a struggle for me, and something I strive towards because I know it’s an important part of an enjoyable life. I’ve often said, while observing my youngest son, that he is a child that knows he is loved. He is totally OK with who he is- no fear, no shame, no hiding. I’ve noticed in my own life that love has been the key factor in my ability to live authentically. I am a very different person than the shy self-conscious girl I was, before I was loved by my husband. Some how, his love gave me guts to be myself. Still, I wasn’t fully “oozing” who I am until I began to grow in my understanding of how much I am loved by God. His love totally sets you free. No fear, no shame, no hiding.

  2. A friend sent this quote about authenticity to me on facebook. I loved it so I had to share it.

    “It seems to me that being authentic is being brave enough or just candid enough to be honest about what you are experiencing or who you are, whether it is popular are not. A person gives a gift to other people when they say, ‘This is what happened to me or this is how I truly feel, no matter what the popular belief is about what I should feel.’ Whenever you are honest, you are speaking for a thousand silent people who don’t have the voice to say what they really feel or are really experiencing. So, if you ever talk about [the thing you went through], you will touch a million hearts. Because you are speaking for more than just yourself. You are never alone in what you are feeling.”

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