Improving Self Esteem: Personal Authenticity
Personal authenticity as a spiritual topic came as a surprise to me. I was introduced to it in my metaphysical practitioner training and found it exceptionally intriguing. Personal authenticity is the act of living up to your own beliefs of yourself, being who you really are and living your life in accordance with that. It's really quite a tall order and component for improving self esteem. We have role models for this. They include Joan of Arc, Albert Einstein, Frank Loyd Wright and many others. These are all people who lived in accordance with their personal beliefs about themselves and what they were capable of. I differentiate between individuals like these and others such as Hitler or Ghengis Khan because their notoriety came about from using the beliefs of others, not expression of their own beliefs which were mostly hidden. If their personal beliefs were more clearly expressed at the time, everyone's karma could be quite a bit different.
Being the Truth of oneself can require great courage...or not. Sometimes it just requires a degree of detachment. This is the detachment of objectivity regarding public opinion. Public opinion, the collective unconscious, peer pressure, etc. are all ingrained into us from a long history of survival issues. In a group of brown monkeys, the white monkey may not survive long. Mob violence in the smallest group is always a possibility and a natural leader recognizes this instinctively. Group dynamics of all kinds, down to and including the family unit can include ostracism due to irreconcilable differences. The individual who retains their individuality in spite of these factors is either quite courageous...or simply prioritizes their importance differently.
What would you have to change in your life in order to make it conform to the reality of your needs, wants and personal standards of excellence? Would you be associating with the same people? Would you dress the same way, speak the same, work at the same place? If the answers to these are all "Yes", then congratulations! You've created a lifestyle which will expedite your personal growth and evolution.
We are organic personalities. By this I mean that we are alive which means shifting and changing and growing just as all other life forms do. We do this on spiritual, mental and emotional levels as well as the physical. Just as we would with a plant, putting ourselves into an environmental situation which will activate our growth potential is a good idea. In actual fact, restructuring our life in this way frequently solves the issues which made the previous situation inhibiting to our growth in the first place. This is a metaphysical truism. Acting in alignment with our thoughts causes a synchronistic alignment in the environment. In other words, the Universe swiftly acts to accommodate the new situation in the form of different circumstances and opportunities which forward the motion.
When we are being true to ourselves we are aligning a natural life force with it's own tendencies. When we go through life with a continuous "public persona" we cannot experience our own life in it's fullness because we are living someone else's life to a certain degree. The someone else can be mother or our minister or the boss, but it's not us. Often if there is dissatisfaction between our associates and ourselves it's because the dispute is between "personas" rather than people. Something like, "I am the cool one and uncoolness isn't acceptable". This isn't fun for anybody and if the Truth were known about the real people behind the masks, there probably would be no disagreement at all. Of course the possibility exists that the conversation would have been on an entirely different subject if both were speaking their Truth.
Persona A - "I want you to stay home and do this household chore"
Persona B - "I'll go where I want, when I want"
Real Person Kathy - "I want you to want to be with me" Real Person George - "I want you to want me here for me, not for what I can do"
These are considerably different conversations. Notice that the persona is far more interested in protecting itself than it is in forwarding it's personal growth. The real person is trying to grow in experience and character. There is a principle involved as well, which has to do with honesty. This is personal honesty rather than the general kind. Personal honesty says, "Here I am, warts and all. Care for me or not based on who I am". Some people may interpret this as a form of anger, but it isn't. It's a life choice, like getting married. I distinguish between personal honesty and general honesty in that personal honesty doesn't have to include tactless or hurtful statements to another. Personal honesty is simply telling the Truth about oneself.
Authenticity allows us to have a greater faith in ourselves, and thus in the Source of our being. It clears up a lot of self-esteem issues very quickly. This is due to the fact that our self-esteem issues most often come from hidden elements of the Self. When these are brought fully into the light, they no longer are nearly so negative. Living with yourself as a slob could be a way of teaching you to be more observant about your environment. Sloppy people have to learn not to fall over things and to be able to find stuff anywhere. This is an important life lesson and when expressed consciously it can direct us toward an even greater awareness. Personal authenticity has quite a few rewards.