Merriam-Webster defines authenticity as real or genuine, not copied or false, true and accurate And this is one of the many things for which I am thankful. In life we hear the term “authentic” thrown around a lot. But even with the definition, what exactly does it mean in life?
To me it applies to the kind of people I have in my life and how I want to be myself and with others. It means that nothing and no one in my life is fake. No one is pretending. The older I get the more important this is for me. When I was younger, I am not sure if I didn’t notice it is as much or if it has just gotten worse and more widespread with social media. Indeed, it is easier now than ever to pretend to be something you are not.
If you are depressed, you can slap a few pictures up on Facebook and voila! You and happy and life is perfect. Put a filter on a selfie, and suddenly you look better than you do even on your best days. I refuse to use filters. Don’t get me wrong, I am a very vain woman, and I am acutely aware of my flaws. But to cover them up completely and make myself unrecognizable for the sport of it. No thanks. Our flaws are what make us our most beautiful and out most human.
Truth be told, I want people who flawed in my life. I want the authenticity of imperfection, of vulnerability. Why? Because I am light years away from being perfect. I am clumsy and can fall, trip, stumble, fumble or spill at the drop of a hat. Most of the time it is funny, sometimes embarrassing and most of the time needs up in laughter. Well, at least it is not boring. I love when someone is authentic and imperfect around me. When they are vulnerable and admit some silly thing about themselves. IT makes them relatable and human. Because we are all acutely aware of our flaws. And it is nice to not have to hide them for acceptance.
I want to know when the people in my life and having a hard day, or are lonely, or are scared or are depressed and why. I want to know when they are sleepy and what kept them up? Was it a hot night? Or was is worry? Because we are all in this together, so I want to celebrate the good and be there in the bad. That is what makes life, life. And that is what keeps it from getting so lonely.
I have also long said that those who are fake will hurt you more than those who are authentic. Why? Nothing is wrong with sparing someone’s feelings, but to lie about intentions, motives, outcomes, or facts? Who has time that? It causes more drama than it is worth. People who live like that are manipulative and usually have their own agenda. My agenda? TO be the best person I can be today, hopefully better than yesterday and to be kind to my fellow humans. There are a few other things, like win an Oscar, travel the world, etc. but you get the picture.
Don’t hide that from me, your authenticity and vulnerability. Let’s laugh, cry, win and lose together. Because we are all broken in our own beautiful and magnificent ways. Our imperfections and cracks are where the light comes in and shines to highlight our many facets…throwing off brilliant colors of light. We are the prisms of life. So, let’s shine authentically, beautifully, brilliantly, and let our imperfections be the beacon of others who are trying to be authentic too.