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What does authenticity mean?

If you are visiting my site then you have most likely been hearing the word "authenticity" quite frequently lately and have become curious as to what all the hype surrounding this word is about. For a minute, I thought it to be just one of those catchwords that society is using to get our attention when a company is trying to sell their product. Or, that it's part of the revolution of coining ourselves as being different and standing out amongst a crowd.

But, those perceptions just didn't satisfy the seeker in me. I felt a visceral reaction every time I heard the word used. I'll admit, we seekers tend to go down deep, deep rabbit holes of subjects that might seem frivolous to others. But this word.....authenticity....just did not seem frivolous at all. So, over the river, through the woods and down the rabbit hole I went to learn more.

What I have discovered so far has picked me up, spun me around, and set me down in a wonderful field of curiosity and longing to continue traveling down this hole until I felt satisfied that I know all there is to know about the subject of authenticity. To be honest, I'm not sure that there is an all encompassing answer! It seems to be one of those paths where there is a fork at every turn. When you chose one fork it will inevitably eventually lead you to the fork that you didn't chose. Which makes sense because, when it comes to knowing yourself fully and living out your purpose, you should leave no stone unturned.

Naturally, I went to google to find out what it said about the definition of the word authenticity. Basically, here's the sum of what I found. Intellects would say that to be authentic is to be factual, accurate, reliable and genuine. Psychology might say that an authentic person embraces who they are at their very core and he/she acts in accordance with their own values and beliefs. Spirituality relates authenticity to actualizing our true "self" at a soul level.

Ok, I could make sense of all of these definitions. But, now I had even MORE questions! For example, it's been my experience that people have different ideas of what is considered to be "factual and accurate" so how do you know that what you are perceiving as a fact is actually the truth? And, how does one arrive at knowing who they are at their very core and figuring out their solid values and beliefs? Sadly, there is a lot of noise and propaganda out there that works to tell us what we should and should not value and believe. And then, what exactly does it mean to actualize your true self at soul level?

I literally had NO idea where to start in order to find the answers to these questions. Which, made the need to know that much more exciting and necessary! I am fascinated by stories of kings and queens and knights (and yes, fairies and dragons too). These stories are synonymous with setting out on quests....for lands, for truths, for chivalry and bravery in rescuing the damsel in distress. I decided that I would set out a quest for answers to what it means to be "authentic".

I arrived at an understanding that humanity as a whole could represent the damsel in distress. I feel in the depths of my soul that finding the answer to who we are at our core will solidify our life's purpose. And everyone has a purpose to live out during this lifetime. I believe that humanity will continue to live in distress until each one of us commits to figuring out our own unique set of gifts that he/she came into this life equipped with. I believe that it is our responsibility to find our souls purpose in order to make some sort of positive impact on the world around us. No gift or deed is too small. Because when you see that life is a web of interconnectedness, you see the ripple effect of how something seemingly small and insignificant can make a profound and sometimes unexpected influence in the grand scheme of things.

As with any epic quest, this journey is likely going to prove to be an arduous one. And it's going to be long.....because it will continue throughout the rest of your life. It's going to require reaching past your perceived limitations. It's going to require commitment, endurance and focus. But, it's the reward in the end that's going to make it epic! The reward of living a life that feels true and more peaceful because you are being led by your inner knowing. As opposed to living merely to please others, comply with expectations or conform to social norms.

I have yet to hear of a hero or heroines journey in which they traveled alone and came out victorious. I have learned the value of finding a community of like minded individuals to provide support and wisdom along the way. You will inevitably come across challenges that can look like road blocks. If you are here and wanting to embark on this type of voyage then you are probably aware that once you set out, it's not really possible to go back. The only options are to stay at the point that you have arrived at or continue onward.

This a path towards transformation. You will travel inward to discover your strengths and weaknesses. You will find yourself surprised at times and deeply disappointed at other times. You will lose parts of yourself and some of the people in your life that you have clung to for dear life. You will grieve these losses, only to then become overwhelmed with joy at the new experiences and life giving people that come to fill the voids in ways you could never have imagined.

I am keenly aware that these are very big promises! But, if you set an intention to stay the course while watching for the signs around you and listening to your intuition then there is no reason that you can't find what you are looking for. I want to walk right beside you. So, what do you say? Are you ready to set out on your quest for authenticity?

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