I believe being yourself is one of the greatest gifts you can offer to yourself and to others. I find when I am authentic I attract other people who also are authentic. Of course, being authentic is being able to be vulnerable which is risky. However, the rewards are well worth the risk.
While on twitter today reading about freedom, fellow tweeter Arlene Taveroff posted a link to her blog Wisdom a la Carte. One of the posts, 4th of July Independence Day, The Quest for Freedom and Being Trapped in One’s Own Prison, written by Doran Gil caught my attention.
Many people in democratic countries who walk around free are “locked up” nonetheless in their own inner-prison, for the simple reason that they don’t let themselves see, acknowledge and become aware of the ways in which they sabotage their lives and intimate relationships. Even though they fail in their attempts to enter or cultivate a satisfying relationship, they refuse to notice and reveal to themselves the reasons for their failures, to take responsibility and to learn what they need to change.
What they do instead is avoid bringing to the surface – and become aware of – that which will enable them to understand what makes them sabotage their relationships. They will rather keep this information hidden from themselves, oblivious to the fact that by doing so they keep harming their relationships time and again….to continue reading more about related posts on Freedom click here and scroll to the bottom of the page.
What is the connection between freedom to be yourself and authenticity? Carl Rogers’ described five core characteristics which are listed below from Carter McNamara’s article, Authenticity–How to Remain Authentic With Yourself and Others. It is a quick read from the Free Management Library. I know it is a management site, but give it a look. I guarantee you won’t be disappointed.
- Honest — Speak the truth.
- Direct — Speak in terms that are clear, concise and focused.
- About here-and-now — Speak about what is going on right now.
- From you — Report your own experience of the here-and-now.
- Non-judgmental of others — Speak about what you are experiencing around others, not of your judgments of others.
When I read the above characteristics of authenticity, I think of of freedom as being able to express oneself as a unique individual. I believe being authentic allows you and me the freedom to realize our fullest potential and to lead a meaningful life. Along with freedom and authenticity is the responsibility to assume the helm of your own life. Consequently, life becomes fulfilling and infused with vitality.
Photo: Jump/Freedom by Cloud – Flickr.com
(c) 2011 Brenda Bomgardner