Captain’s Log 5,897
There are people who thrive on spiritual advice. They just love that stuff. Sometimes, it is presented well. Other times, it is just so WOO WOO that it makes me want to hurl.
Speaking of “hurl,” there is a street near my house called Hurlburt. Makes me laugh. Would be funnier if it was Hurlbutt…..but Hurlburt will do. So easily amused.
Anyway…..back to the spiritual stuff……
People are always throwing around advice about how to be authentic. Being authentic is supposed to be the grandest and glorious thing we can be. But sometimes, people’s authenticity gets to me. They are rude and disrespectful. When you call them on it, they tell you they are being authentic and true to themselves. Not so sure about that. I think you can be authentic without being intrusive or rude. If being your “authentic self” means foisting yourself into other people’s business or smoking dope in their house (for example), I think they are missing the mark. Saying and doing whatever you want is not being authentic. Authentic is a code of honor. It means sizing up the entire situation and making the right choices for everyone.
I think authentic people lie when they know the truth will damage another person. Case in point, I found it perfectly acceptable to lie to my dying friend when she asked me how the roses were doing at her old house. She was days away from death, and I was not about to tell her the new owners trashed the landscaping and ripped out all her flowers. She loved her garden so very much. So very much that I flat out lied to her and told her the flowers were gorgeous and lovely. To me, the authenticity of that moment was about helping her come to terms with making her transition. It was not about the flowers. It was about letting her go. So yes, I lied. I told her a story that put a beautiful smile on her face. I am perfectly okay with that.
I am authentically weird. I know that. I am fine with that. I also know there is a time and place for that weirdness to express itself. It is NOT okay for me to be weird when dealing with a donor or sitting in a serious meeting with my peers. I am not denying my authenticity, I am merely channeling it into the right moment. Using filters does not mean we are denying our authentic selves. There is a time and a place for everything. Authenticity does not mean you drive a steamroller over everyone because you need to be true to yourself.
Some people think authenticity means having a devil-may-care attitude. I think that’s dangerous. I some part of that world, that would get you shot and killed. I think we need to be judicious about expressing authenticity all the time. I have sung in grocery stores (and been caught more than once). I really don’t like to do authentic dancing unless I am home alone. I was teased so much about dancing all my life that it’s hard to me to just get out there and do it. But that’s getting easier. Technology is making that part of authentic self-expression a lot easier for me.
This takes a huge burden off my soul. My self-esteem has soared.
So I have time for a little authentic navel gazing before I head off to work. Laters.