True or False?
“I often feel like I’m faking it.”
“I don’t know who I really am.”
“I’m a chameleon; I change depending on who I’m with”
“I feel like I’m fulfilling expectations rather than living my real life.”
“I feel I’m wearing a mask when I’m with people.”
“What if I explore inside myself and there’s no one in there?”
“I want to live a life that better reflects my real self.”
If you said true to one or more of these statements, you may be looking for a way to become more your real self, to live a more authentic life. Authenticity is the ability to be genuinely ourselves in a range of circumstances. It is a sign of wholeness, maturity and mental health to be who we really are.
Becoming your real self means knowing what is true inside, being able to fully experience that, and feeling confident in your ability to share that real self with others.
Being authentic means risking finding out what we truly feel deep inside – not just living out ideas and expectations of who we are or who we should be – and even being willing to be surprised by ourselves.
We need to be able to tolerate the bodily experience of vulnerability that arises when we risk being real. We are not able to force others or the world to meet us with warmth and interest when we show up in our genuine selves. And that is vulnerable. We need to be able to stay with ourselves, to feel and deal with the discomfort of that in our bodies, if we are to live an authentic life.
To Have and To Hold guides you so that you can develop your ability to do this.