Keeping It Authentic

Yesterday, I shared with you how I plan to keep life simple in 2013. I’ve learned in recent years that keeping it simple, also means being authentic.

The most exhausting thing in life is being insincere. ~Anne Morrow Lindbergh

I listen to my husband, José talking on the telephone to an elderly lady who’s calling for advice on how to leave her property to her children. She’s clearly biased in favor of her son, but she depends on her daughter for financial support! José, as always, refuses to give advice to people (which is a really good thing I’m learning too.) I can hear him telling her: “I’m not going to tell you what to do, I will only tell the implications of all the options.” The lady is possibly upset – because she’s not hearing what she wants to hear. But I think,  Jose told her what she needed to hear.

I  recently listened to a conversation between Cheryl Richardson and Iyanla Vanzant.  Iyanla  talked about not allowing people to walk all over you.  She talks about the ‘pathology‘ of her family: to ignore, deny, dismiss bad behavior. She has taught herself to tell people when they hurt her or when she cannot tolerate their behavior.  I think about how I’m learning to do that too. I’m not always successful but, I’m getting there.

In the past few months, I have been sporadically attempting to write morning pages of the kind recommended by Julia Cameron in The Artist’s Way.  As I started to write these three pages first thing every morning, a lot of things from my childhood and past reared their head. I could see patterns of behavior forming in childhood  based on certain events and experiences. I could see all the relationship transactions more clearly. Frankly, it was a scary and uncomfortable experience.

This morning, I get sudden clarity about why I haven’t been writing morning pages for the past month. I see my family ‘pathology’ cropping up:   suppressing uncomfortable emotions,  tolerating behavior that hurts and avoiding uncomfortable conversations.  Perhaps this also explains why I’m so resistant to feedback – I tend to view it as criticism.  I tend to clam up or defend my actions.

  Project52 - Week One: Dahlia

I recall an incident from earlier this year that was a defining moment for me. I wrote a post in which I shared a hurtful experience.  My blogging friend responded with a comment which hurt me because I felt misunderstood by her. I responded with a rather rude comment. We then took the conversation to Facebook, messaging each other. I told her that I thought she was rude, criticising her person rather than telling her how her behaviour affected me. She wrote back, pointing this out to me and suggesting that I should communicate using ‘I-statements‘. My first reaction was want to write back to her and tell her I knew all about ‘I-statements’, being a communication trainer. Instead, I took time off to introspect. I realized there was a pattern in how I responded to what I perceived as criticism. I chose to accept my mistake,  explain my feelings and apologize. In other words,  I chose to be authentic. Since she too was authentic in her response, our friendship has got much deeper. I now understand and admire her more and am open to be challenged by her.  Why was this a defining moment, you ask? Because in that conversation, I felt the deep peace and joy of being completely authentic.

This year I will focus on keeping it authentic. I will shun the pathology of avoidance of uncomfortable issues and emotions.  I plan to resume my morning pages, to work on myself and to heal my past.  I will open myself to blogging  about topics that might be uncomfortable to me and to you, my readers – not to shock or offend. But to keep it authentic.

I leave you with quotes on being authentic from two bloggers who I hold in high esteem.

If it acts like a duck (all the time), it’s a duck. Doesn’t matter if the duck thinks it’s a dog, it’s still a duck as far as the rest of us are concerned. ~  Seth Godin in his post Authenticity

Everything we put out for others to consume is already epic, because we’re opening ourselves up to critique, belittlement, and crushing disappointment if others don’t like it. ~  Danny Brown in his post  You Don’t Have To Be Epic Every Time.

I’m keeping life simple and authentic in 2013. What are you doing?

 

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Comments

  1. I was touched by José’s response. And the rest of your post set me brooding. Thank you for those amazing quotes; Godin’s is a favourite.
    umashankar recently posted..The Indian ShepherdMy Profile

  2. I love this and recognise my own preference to avoid confronting bad behaviour in my family, by not getting involved, because I was at a loss how to do so without appearing to be judgemental. In not getting involved and then receiving silent treatment, which I have finally confronted just by asking and thinking loving thoughts even though I could sense something other than that coming at me, I learned that my silence was seen as a betrayal. I have sought merely to explain who I am and how I choose to speak with others and that this confrontation was so far outside of my way of being (and didn’t directly concern me) that I kept silent.

    I so wish to be authentic and I think I am on the right track, but I also wish to ensure that I don’t cause any further pain in explaining that. Will go and check out some of your links, thanks.
    Claire ‘Word by Word’ recently posted..Travelling Life’s Long RoadMy Profile

  3. Fabulous post. I think this is a great principle that we all should strive to accomplish :)
    Julie DeNeen recently posted..2012: A Year in Words, Pictures, and MusicMy Profile

  4. Love the idea of keeping it real Corrine. I believe humanity is heading in the direction where more people are opening up to wanting to hear the truth as opposed to a lie. I have gotten much better at receiving criticism as well. I think that was a motivating reason for starting my blog because I knew for sure that I would be getting some negative feedback.
    Justin recently posted..Ego and Self – Is it Time for a Change in ConsciousnessMy Profile

  5. ooop! something in my eye making it hard to type…hah! xoxoxo

    “It is important to remember that at first flush, going sane feels just like going crazy.” — Julia Cameron
    Dangerous Linda recently posted..merry misfit xmasMy Profile

  6. That’s something I’ve promised myself and my family after I’ve decided to change careers :) It’s tough especially when everybody’s opinion matters all the time… but in the long run, I realized that what matters most happens between me and God.

    Thank you for sharing yourself ~ there are many things I’m discovering about you… HAPPY 2013 BS :* Lots of love!
    melissa recently posted..Kindly visit my Christmas post at We Have A StoryMy Profile

  7. Well, written for me, I should say. I always shut up like a clam when accosted. While reading Zephyr’s post a while ago, I realised that I always shied away when something came up. I can write about it but cannot confront and talk. Jose is a wise man, indeed. I liked the way he handled the situation – a good lesson learnt. Thanks Corinne for this post. I should try to be authentic and wise.

    Good wishes and blessings for a wonderful 2013.

    Joy always,
    Susan

  8. This is beautiful advice Corinne, and yes I am trying to be authentic but there is always a nagging fear of hurting others in that process which I want to avoid.

    I loved Jose’s advice, specially the way you put it. Not what she wanted to hear, but yes what she needed to. Will remember these lines for a long time <3

    Happy New Year ((((HUGS))) to you!
    Privy Trifles recently posted..Turning the pages of lifeMy Profile

  9. Simple and authentic . . . I can’t think of any better goals in life for which to strive. That hasn’t always been easy for me, especially the authentic part, as I, like so many of us, was raised to be a “people pleaser”, but I know we both know this leads to a dead end in our emotional and spiritual growth. May we both enjoy success in those arenas in 2013!
    Must add, too, that I loved how Jose handled the situation with that woman. He set a great example!
    Blessings to you both and to sweet little Pablo in the new year!
    Martha Orlando recently posted..Joy to the World!My Profile

  10. I am absolutely in love with this idea. Keeping in authentic and real won’t put one under the pressure of a “performance” every time. And it keeps things simpler and sorted out!

    Happy New Year!
    Hajra recently posted..Will the real men please stand upMy Profile

  11. —This year I will focus on keeping it authentic–

    Yes! This is a superb goal, Corinne.

    PS. Speaking of Julia; I call my pages “mourning pages.”

    Xxx LOVE to you flowing from MN.
    My Inner Chick recently posted..21 Things I Learned In 2012My Profile

  12. Corinne, not been here in a while, but having been saving your posts to read when I get time. I am glad I did today. I think I need more dose of authenticity that Jose has shown over the telephone. I rather tell people not what they want to hear but what they need to hear. All in all, a very authentic post. Looking forward to more authentic posts throughout the year. I am glad for you to identify the defining moment. Isn’t it a wonderful feeling? Now hopping over to your other posts.
    Latha recently posted..Another Year!!!My Profile

  13. I love Dr. Wayne Dyer’s books. I remember reading in one that he once received two letters on the same day regarding his latest book (don’t remember which one). One of the letters said that the book was the best book she had ever read and it had made a tremendous positive impact on her life. The other letter was from a reader who said it was the worst, most disappointing book she had ever read. The message he wanted to convey was that you can’t please everyone all the time.

    It is my belief that when you grow enough to feel secure about who you are and learn to love yourself, it really doesn’t matter what anyone else says about you or to you. It’s more of a reflection of who they are than a reflection of who you are.

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