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How Do You Define Authenticity?

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I love podcasts! They make the hours I spend each week fighting through traffic much more enjoyable. Another thing I love is politics, even though I wish I didn’t. Right now, the American political system is a complete circus, but I can’t seem to look away! This is not going to be a political post, but I have to talk a little bit about politics to get to my point, so please bear with me for a moment.

I recently listened to a podcast where the moderators were talking about how the Republican base in this country applauds President Trump for his authenticity. They appreciate his bluntness and willingness to say what he thinks, no matter who that offends. His supporters tout this quality, which got me thinking about authenticity and what that actually means.

What does authenticity mean to you?
Who is the model of authenticity in your life?

To me, authenticity is making sure that my insides match my outsides. I want to be congruent in any situation.

For years, I intentionally made sure that my insides didn’t match my outsides. I did everything I could to ensure there was a disconnect between the two. I thought that whatever emotion I was feeling was bad so I stifled it. 

Then I dove into church culture where I felt like I had to be perfect all the time. I worked at various churches and, because I was on staff, I always assumed I had to act a certain way, no matter how I was feeling. This was a ridiculous pressure I put on myself because I thought that’s just what you do.

Jesus is the perfect example of authenticity.
He was fully man and managed to live a congruous life. 

When he was sorrowful, he expressed it.
When he was angry, he showed it.
When he was joyful, he put it on display.
When he was hurting, he let others know.

While not every setting is a safe space to put all our feels on display, there’s a freedom in finding those intimate places to express ourselves. There are those people who will sit with you in the midst of your emotions, worries, or fears, without judgment or condemnation so you can be honest and authentic. Those are relationships to cherish!

I’m immensely thankful for the friends of mine who dare to be authentic and completely themselves amidst an overwhelming pressure to conform. They’re the ones who keep it real when it’s easier to be fake. I so value those who are authentic around me who consistently encourage me to be congruous even when it’s uncomfortable.

So, to close, I encourage you to ponder those questions I asked in the beginning:

What does authenticity mean to you?

Who is the model of authenticity in your life?

To go Deeper: Ripping Off my RBF Mask, Blazing the Trail of Vulnerability

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