When we decide to show up in an authentic way ~ to be real ~ to speak our truth in the form of telling our story, it can be a very powerful tool. A tool capable of healing, uniting, validating, as well as inciting anger, denial and disgust. And certainly has the power to knock us off of any pedestal we’ve been previously hoisted upon.
These are acceptable risks for me. One of the benefits of living a while, is that it becomes more important to be real than it is to be liked. And in the spirit of authenticity, I’ll admit right now that I’ve enjoyed being a likable person. And I’m not setting out to become unlikeable. I’m just accepting the notion that parts of my story will offend someone. I’ve worked a long time to stop being offended by some of it myself.
For me, the real danger in truth telling lies in the tender places where my stories converge with the stories of the people I care about. When I reveal part of my history, many times, I’m revealing a story shared by those closest to me. What if they’re not ready to be that transparent? This is the thing that gives me pause.
It’s as if every time I sit down and put pen to paper, I’m climbing up on the bar stool of life and yelling “A round of authenticity for everyone!”
So, I think it becomes a delicate dance around showing up as the real me ~ sharing who I am and how I got here, while respecting the fact that I did not travel the path alone. I’m learning how to navigate these waters as I go. But, because I respect and adore my family and the friends I share long history with, I vow that you will never wake up one day with the bright light of someone else’s authenticity shining on your tender heart space.