Dance Like Nobody is Watching

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.

dance like nobody is watching

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.


Filed under Captain Poolie's observations

19 responses to “Dance Like Nobody is Watching

  1. poundheadhere

    Being authentic is being yourself – as opposed to pretending to be someone you’re not. It isn’t an excuse for behaving like an ass (unless you ARE an ass, in which case being authentic isn’t for you.) You’d think such a simple concept would be simple for people to assimilate. Apparently you’d be wrong for a pretty significant portion of the population.

  2. I am in agreement with you. Being authentic to me means that you are kind and thoughtful and give advice when warranted…not being “in their face” with your own opinions and “directions on how to live their lives.” Being a friend or good co-worker is key to a happier life.

  3. Patty O'

    I agree with everything you said…in spades. The kindest lie I ever heard came from my younger son Paul when his beloved grandfather was dying. He was in great pain from his own recent surgery, but got up and went to see his grandfather and WALKED so that he could be seen to be strong and well again. He was not. Yet. But that simple lie greatly relieved my Dad’s worry and gave him peace. As Paul said; “I have plenty of time to heal, but he doesn’t have time to wait for it.” To me that was AUTHENTIC love. I also approve of singing and dancing, but you will have to do both for me, please.

  4. Yes, it is.
    What authentic pleasure to see you three yesterday. 🙂

  5. purplygems

    good post Paula. I agree.

  6. “Authentic” is evidently a convenient excuse for doing something not right. In comparison, your telling your friend her flowers were lovely was a kindness, really authentic.

    I just read a book that you would love: One Frog Can Make a Difference. Kermit doesn’t care much for self-help books — just like me. 😎

  7. bholles

    Funny comment about busy checking the phone.

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