Living Authentically

[twas revised on the beautiful day of April 29, 2013]

There are so many factors in a person’s life that makes living authentically difficult. Media, for example. Media sends its viewers numerous conclusions about their own life, including what things we can do to feel loved or accepted, or what purchased items will enable us to become the model-person they are selling.

In the past decade, the effects of media have transcended more conventional mediums, e.g. television, radio, and advertisements, and enveloped much of our social networks. Sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram complicate our social persona because we are now asked to bear ourselves to an even wider audience (i.e. anyone who is our “Friend” or who “Follows” us). Don’t get it twisted — I am not anti-Facebook/Instagram/Twitter/social media sites. There are lessons to be learned in navigating through such spaces, such as, being able to consider other people’s viewpoints and admiring what others are good at or have achieved.

C’est la vie — balance, balance, balance — that’s always the key. The goal then, when it comes to interacting with media is not to allow your personal development, passions and interests to be abandoned in starry eyed admiration (or in some cases, obsession) of others. More important than that, in my opinion as always, is learning to distinguish what you truly enjoy and like from what the media, or what your social network, tells you to enjoy and like.

I think this is important. It promotes personal growth, self reflection, and enables you to live a life, authentic to yourself.

In my own life, I have spent a while now contemplating: what is it that I honestly and authentically want to do? This doesn’t apply solely to my career, but encompasses my relationships with others, my hobbies, the goods I purchase — basically, anything in my life that involves a decision. At the end of the day, whenever I take the time to reflect, I always seem to reach a reoccurring conclusion: Life is limitless. Once we learn what makes us authentically happy and engaged in our life, there is nothing that can truly stop us — no person, no event, no thing — no conception that was packaged and sold to us. A feeling of calm settles.

Sweet Darkness, by David Whyte

When your eyes are tired
the world is tired also.
 
When your vision has gone
no part of the world can find you.
 
Time to go into the dark
where the night has eyes
to recognize its own.
 
There you can be sure
you are not beyond love.
 
The dark will be your womb
tonight.
 
The night will give you a horizon
further than you can see.
 
You must learn one thing:
the world was made to be free in.
 
Give up all the other worlds
except the one to which you belong.
 
Sometimes it takes darkness and the sweet
confinement of your aloneness
to learn
 
anything or anyone
that does not bring you alive
 
is too small for you.