Authentic: Something that is real or genuine; not copied or false.
Of all the things that we can do in order to create an authentic life, probably the most important one is seeking the answer to the question: “Where did I come from?” In most cases, finding the answer puts us on a path some call “Spirituality.” Notice, please, that I did not say “Religion.” While the practice of certain religions do revolve around ideas about spiritual concepts, they are, for the most part, a set of ideas and understandings experienced by others that are held to be true. If you are a member of that particular religion, you may very well hold them to be true yourself. Or, you may not. Your inability to just accept these ideas and teachings because you were raised as a child in that tradition may be the impetus to set you on your journey to find your own answer to the question: “where did I come from,” and not simply accept someone else’s answer.
Why am I bringing this up on a website about writing as a tool to creating an authentic life? Because coming to terms with our understanding of “whatever is out there,” or, if there is even anything out there at all, sets the stage for everything else we will do with our lives. If we believe one answer, we will live our lives in joy, excitement, love, compassion and contribution. If we believe another, then nothing matters except staying alive and going through the motions. In either case, the quality of our lives, the authenticity of our lives, is directly affected.
What I love about this journey of exploration and seeking that we call life is that there are as many possible, and acceptable, answers as there are people in the world. The beautiful part is that one does not have to choose one over another, or claim that one is the right way and all of the others are the wrong ways. We have the freedom to find those things that work for us, that give our lives meaning, and provides us with an answer that we can embrace, from many different paths, and find that they are compatible. Once you take the time to research the basic concepts and truths about one way, and then another, and another, you begin to see a commonality between all of them: a sense that we are not alone in this world, that there is something greater than us at work, and that we can experience that in ways as majestic as a blazing sunset, or as tiny and heart-melting as a new puppy. Whatever makes us “feel something, feel IT,” is the right path regardless of what tradition claims it.
Living an authentic life is living in the light of what is true for us. It is walking the path that takes us from one experience to another, from one idea to another, and having them all end up in the same place with the same view, one that answers our question and points us in the next right direction to go.
As you can imagine, this week’s writing assignment is going to be a bit heavy, so allow yourself plenty of time to complete it. Remember that there is no right or wrong answer. There is only the one that is true for you.
Peace and blessings.