I have learned through this work is that living authentically lands us on the path to a full and vital life. It’s not a ‘happy pill’, but by living authentically we get to experience the ease that comes from being in power. When we are in power what we bring to a given situation is generally positive and productive. When we are out of power what we bring is usually unhelpful and often destructive.
Well, like most I’d like to land on the positive and productive side of things whenever possible. In the past I was sure trying, but failing all too often and finding myself frustrated. While I think most would say I have been a ‘good’ person, the way I was doing things wasn’t working for me very well. Something had to give.
What I now understand is just how much I was overriding my authentic self. Though I was acting with the best of intentions, I was following an outer set of rules, not my inner authority. I was determined to learn those rules and follow them. It’s how I was brought up; it felt right and safe. In fact, when my inner voice guided me in one direction I pretty much went in the other. I believed following it would lead to selfishness. Not only was I not listening to it; I was actively rejecting it. Big surprise that life wasn’t feeling terribly rich and satisfying.
What made me do this? Well, most of us do to some extent, I suppose. We are all highly conditioned, trained in the rules of the game of life. We need to be. There are few things as helpless as human babies, and few creatures as sociable as we are. Our route to surviving and getting along is learning from experience and from others. Our family culture and the wider culture around us give us constant feedback about the ‘right’ way to be. Much of this conditioning is helpful, even vital, but some of it… well, not so much.
So how do we find and reconnect with our inner authority and ditch the conditioning that isn’t serving us? Jennie has been my teacher on this journey, guiding me back to my true nature. My inner authority is there to give me guidance if I’ll just listen. This strong inner voice has always been there, I’ve just haven’t been heeding it.
Now I am practicing another way. I’m learning how to be authentic in the world, how to take my direction from the wisdom within. It’s led to many changes in my life, both large and small. The process has been mighty scary at times, but it is leading me to a richer, more satisfying life, to the fullness of living from a deeper place.