~ A Blog About Mindfulness and Other Musings~
Join me along this journey called life as we travel ever so gently, serenely, and mindfully.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

A Question of Authenticity

Narcissus fell in love with his shadow because he could not recognize his true self. He ended up in love with a false sense of self -- his ego.
Lately, I, too, have been struggling with questions of authenticity. Who is the real me?

I reflect on the ways I conduct myself in my professional life and I find myself judging the persona of:

a woman with the right answers
a woman with high energy
a woman with confidence and
of competence.

But is this my authentic self or just the mask I put on?

In my most private moments, I know the self that I am far more comfortable with is the quiet self, the serenity snail if you will.

But I fear that self is de-valued in our fast-paced lives and in our quick interactions with others.

How do I, then, learn to integrate both selves instead of judging one or the other?

Does the answer simply lie in being present to my experiences at work, at home, and in the privacy of my own inner world? If I am present and mindful, then there is no room for the false ego, the Pinocchio of myself rearing its ugly head. So much easier said than done!
(This image was taken in Florence, Italy)

I know my mask is glued firmly in place when I feel threatened, insecure or as though I have to prove myself. Indeed, that is exactly how I feel in my new position at work right now.

If I could simply let go of my fears, and relax into myself, perhaps I would not feel such inner duality?

Unlike Narcissus, I want to fall in love with my authentic self, not my shadow.  To actually experience self-love that is true without the narcissism -- now that would be Divine.

(Taken at Boldt Castle)


Promod Sharma said...

Authenticity is overrated. We want to be perceived as better than we are. That can nudge us to become better — a virtuous cycle. We need to be inauthentic to succeed.

Asking the questions is the real victory. You are aware of issues. That is so much better than zipping through life without noticing or having an impact.

We change based on where we are. We generally behave differently in different places: home, work, party, wedding or funeral. Yet we can still be true to ourselves.

Serenity said...

So what I understand from your comment is that this contextual mask-changing is not only normal, but necessary AND it does not have to take away from who we really are.

I suppose I get stuck on viewing authenticity as also a form of sincerity and I'm not sure I always see myself as sincere when I put on a mask, say at work.

You've certainly given me a few things to thing about.

Thanks for leaving a comment.