One of the many things keeping me in a holding pattern for so long is this concept of being your authentic self. In truth, it might have been the one thing that sent my seemingly undefined identity structure into a tailspin, trying to figure out who I was. If I can't define itself, how can it possibly ever be authentic. How will anything I ever does connect with anyone else in the world if I is not being authentic? What is I and what is authentic anyway?
My I loves diving deep and fully digging into the first intention of things. What is the why of it all? Here's a bit of interesting information I found on the etymology;
authentic (adj.) (Click the link to dive in deeper.)
"-mid-14c., autentik, "authoritative, duly authorized" (a sense now obsolete), from Old French autentique "authentic; canonical" (13c., Modern French authentique) and directly from Medieval Latin authenticus, from Greek authentikos "original, genuine, principal," from authentes "one acting on one's own authority," from autos "self" (see auto-) + hentes "doer, being," from PIE root *sene- (2) "to accomplish, achieve." Sense of "real, entitled to acceptance as factual" is first recorded mid-14c."
When I drove deeper into the root word Auto, I found what seems to be the intention of what authentic is; "In Greek, as a word-forming element, auto- had the sense of "self, one's own, of oneself ('independently'); of itself ('natural, native, not made'); just exactly; together with."
Okay, so my understanding is essentially, authentic is being and doing from the space of who you are exactly in the moment you are; "just exactly together with" yourself. It was not until the 13th and 14th century in which authentic became an external judgement or expectation; or could we even say inauthentic.
Like many things from our history; or witnessing of stories, events, tales, accounts, narratives past, the intention of a word, idea, meaning, way of being, anything really, can get convoluted and corrupted by external inputs. Just like our own being-ness, our own I - dentification!
In today's social environment the word Authentic is bandied about like toilet paper during the pandemic, overmuch and unnecessarily. There is a way in which we are holding ourselves, our business' and our lives in a jail cell with a guard screaming at us if we even think about stepping outside of the current authenticity code. Why? Because we are afraid of looking different, of standing out, of showing our chaotic, inconsistent erratic selves. Authentic looks a certain way today, it has a pattern, it has a feel that everyone has jumped on board with and it doesn't look anything like who we actually are. Many of us are trying to fit in while simultaneously trying to stand out just to survive.
And the Truth is, we are not a static form of authenticity, we are constantly evolving, changing, growing and expanding. What I, you, we, looked like 2 seconds ago, is completely different than in this very moment. Being authentic is living in the moment and being who you are in that moment, so, how can we put ourselves into a brand or a business or a story and not expect that it will look different tomorrow. That a page has turned and you are writing a new story today. That it looks and feels different, constantly. The truth is I, we, you can't, at least not authentically. When you do not express from your in the moment being-ness, you become your own jailer; often times more true than not, slamming the door on our true authenticity.
Me, living authentically as myself is really just me living and expressing myself in all the many forms I shift into, all the costumes and characters I choose to embody, all the paths I choose to take and to leave behind. It may not be pretty and it may not look like everything/one else, but really, being authentic, is accepting who you are in any given moment, embracing that, embodying it and sharing it in the world, however that looks. Not because you're showing authentic, but because you are just being.
Always being Wilder,