Is there a more authentic story I can tell?
How do I tell a more authentic story? It's probably best to start with a definition of authentic:
Definition of authentic
2: not false or imitation: REAL, ACTUAL...
3: true to one's own personality, spirit, or character
is sincere and authentic with no pretensions
Authenticity is the ability to see a fuller range of factors in a given situation. It moves from our self-created editorial and factors in other issues that help us to create a richer picture of the situations we are dealing with. From there, we incorporate this new information into a fuller, richer story that serves you and those involved.
Ahhhh...thenticity! When we look at something authentically, we have hit the next level of increasing that space between stimulus and response, and it’s a big one. All of a sudden, we're not just spewing untested, vitriolic or overly positive drivel that is literally keeping us right where we don't want to be!
Generating an authentic story moves us to a centered and grounded place. We may not like what we're seeing but we are no longer a victim of the stories that didn't serve us. The process requires regular practice and a focus on one step at a time, especially in the areas where our struggles have seemed insurmountable.
Our Authentic Self allows us to observe the negative and balance it with the full range of factors including negative, neutral, and positive ones. And this creates an immediate difference in behavior within ourselves and those involved in the story. We are no longer victims of our thinking or of the behavior of those around us. We recognize that we get to define our reality through authentic storytelling.
"Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional"
Authenticity is not positivity.
Let me say it again, authenticity is not positivity. Authenticity does not have an agenda. It is simply taking life in stride. The good, the bad, and the ugly. And because we are in an authentic place, we are not required to join in the fray of the stories that don't serve us. Instead, we stay centered and grounded, appreciating fully the tapestry of the world within and around us.
The reason positivity on its own doesn’t serve us is because all too often, positive stories don't serve us, simply whitewashing whatever we are looking at. Instead, we are basking in our own self-deception. But that deception is short-lived when things don't go the positive, the way we wanted.
The view from an authentic story
When we look at something from an authentic place, there is an “ease” that comes over us. Because we have taken the time to put things in perspective, we land in a grey area, non-polarized. We find we gradually become accustomed to the process of digging a little deeper and not going with our default stories. Every time we do this, we feel more centered and grounded. We feel ourselves moving to a greater sense of freedom from ourselves and the behaviors of those around us. We begin to walk in the world the way we've wanted to for so long.
Finding that holistic story begins to free us from our inauthentic story's grip, and sets the stage for real change, especially in the areas we are struggling. Over time the part of us that tells stories that don't serve us, recognizes the futility of its story and allows for the real solutions of our Authentic Self.
The impact of an authentic view
And when we sit with an authentic story, we also find that we are served, as are those who are involved. We find a new world of possibilities for moving forward, that comes with more purpose and deeper meaning. For ourselves and those we interact with.
Authenticity does not condone “bad” behavior. Instead, it allows for a deeper understanding. It allows for appreciation of the situation, "good" or "bad", without us getting stuck emotionally. We are able to see beyond the "in-the-moment" situation and have a much stronger understanding of how we got here. We also have a new sense of agency in how to move forward in a way that serves all involved.
Appreciation in an authentic story
Appreciation creates a far better context for understanding any situation. We recognize that the road we traveled, with all of its problems, has a rich history that deserves acknowledgment from a non-judgemental place. That is the value of appreciation in our authentic story.
Appreciation doesn’t mean that we condone the stories. We recognize they have been with us for good reasons. Authenticity is trustworthy and without judgment. It allows for all of these perspectives without embracing or condoning them. It says, "From where I sit, I see why I or those around me behave the way they do and it's much deeper than what I see on the surface.
Authenticity is the place where we all want to spend the majority of our time. When we tell a more authentic story we move in this direction. We are also able to move to a place where we are more fulfilled, feeling that life is on our side.