By Jennifer Elizabeth Masters
The holidays can be a beautiful time to connect with loved ones, share laughter and our presence. To many, the holidays can be extremely stressful – even depressing. The holidays reveal to us what is amiss in our lives, showing us what we need to focus on.
I remember Christmases past when I tried desperately to make everyone around me happy. I fussed over gifts and wrapping. I caused myself stress looking for the “perfect” gift for each of my loved ones. There was always someone that wished for something other than what I chose for them.
My oldest son was the most difficult to please. I would wait in anticipation for his facial expression when he opened his gifts. I was often depressed after the gifts were opened, even though we were all together. My focus was on the gifts, rather than the
presence. I was not in the present. I tried to make others happy. It was an impossible task, one that I have gratefully let go of. It is not our responsibility to “make” anyone happy. The only one we are truly responsible for is us.
Being Happy With Who We Are
It is interesting that in the act of becoming, there is a letting go involved. Allowing ourselves to be really seen by our loved ones, offers a transparent version of ourselves, without subterfuge, barriers or phoniness. Offering others our vulnerability allows them to get close, revealing our authentic presence.
We have to let go of people pleasing. We have to let go of trying to be perfect, or to find the perfect gift. There will always be someone that will be disappointed with what we have given, or how we have given it. We can’t be ourselves when we focus on others happiness or comfort all the time. We cannot be happy with us, when we make others’ happiness our responsibility. We cannot be happy with us when we are constantly trying to please others. We cannot be happy with our lives when we refuse to let others see our true self.
Everything will line up perfectly when knowing and living the truth becomes more important than looking good. ~Alan Cohen
What Is Authenticity, Really?
When you are authentic, you are you all of the time. There is no other way for you to be, but completely you. You are not one way around one group of friends and another around those in the office. You are the same at home with your neighbors as you are on a
plane, in a supermarket or in a beauty salon. There is no effort involved remembering what you have been or acted like with whom. The only way you can show up anywhere is by being truly you, rather than a version of what you want to show the world. When we can be vulnerable and real with ourselves and others we become truly present, sharing our presence with the world and those we love.
The authentic self is the soul made visible. ~Sarah Ban Breathnach
How Do We Feel When We Are NOT Authentic?
When we are inauthentic we feel out of sync with our values, preferences and abilities. We might feel uncomfortable in our own skin, because we strive to be something that we are not. The need for everything to be perfect may pervade our lives, which is exhausting. We often try to run away from who we truly are, which leads to avoidance in other areas of our lives. We avoid being vulnerable because we don’t want others to see our soft chewy tootsie roll center. When we avoid situations we cannot possibly be present fully. We are not sharing our authentic presence.
It Takes Guts – But It Is So Worth It!
Being authentic liberates us from trying to be perfect, or something we are not. Stepping out into the void of the virtual unknown is required. We need to face our inner demons. We need to know and understand ourselves to be authentic. Often the very thing we are afraid to let go of is who we think we need to be versus, who we truly are. Letting go of our concern about what others think of us is freeing. Liberating is the goal, letting go of control is the way.
Authenticity requires us to accept all of ourselves, rather than just the best or smartest parts. Being authentic is embracing our humanity. It is a recognition that we are all human.
What About Our Mistakes?
We have all made choices and decisions that didn’t turn out the way we hoped. All of those experiences are part of who we are. Whether it was a relationship or marriage that didn’t last, an education we don’t use, our experiences teach us more about ourselves. Looking at our experiences without judgment and recrimination is required. We begin to recognize that our past does not have to equal our future. Our past offered us lessons and gifts that help us make better choices through our personal inner discovery. Our self observation and inner journey is on-going. It never ends. We constantly morph and change with each new day. That is the wonderful thing about change. We can allow ourselves infinite possibilities each and every day.
Acceptance of our imperfection is the cornerstone of being totally real with ourselves. With the acceptance of all of you, comes the recognition of your talents, abilities and gifts. Rather than being fake, shallow or a card-board one dimensional being, you see the multi-faceted beauty of the genuine you. Acceptance allows happiness to flow in, where control was previously.
We can run, but we can’t hide. We always show up wherever we are. We cannot run from the chaos of our lives anymore than we can run away from ourselves or choices.
Sex and Authenticity
Orgasms and pleasure can allude you when you are inauthentic. Faking orgasm is inauthentic. It is not being true to yourself or your partner. If you fake orgasm, you also fake other areas of your life. Get real, be honest and let go of inauthenticity. (Read my book)
3 Steps To Living Authentically with Presence
- Evaluate what you truly care about. What are the most important things in your life? Align yourself with those criteria. Don’t allow others to pull you off your center. Sometimes we base our lives and beliefs on what our parents believed. When we really examine these core beliefs, are they truly ours?
- Let go of judgment. Often we judge things that are different than ourselves or that we don’t understand. Judgement is a rigid way of thinking. Looking at others and especially ourselves without the magnifying glass of harsh criticism will allow us and others to be human and imperfect. We will stop running away from ourselves and being more present when we become more accepting.
- Pay attention to the way your body feels. When you are in alignment with your core beliefs you can feel it. Your body feels good, comfortable and grounded. Your body will never lie to you. It will however let you know when you are out of alignment. Paying attention to people or events that don’t concern you can often cause you to feel stressed, or out of alignment. Notice when you get upset. Are you upset with someone else’s actions or your judgment of them? Ask, “is this really my concern? Do I need to take this on?” You have the power to change the way you react to situations and how you feel. How you think about things causes your reactions. Always come back to your inner being. How do I feel? What is making me feel this way? Can I process this differently? How can I change the way I feel about this? How can I go with the flow of life instead of trying to make things happen a certain way.
The Heart Connection
When you are authentic you connect deeply with other people. People feel the truth of who you are. They see it in your eyes. Being authentic changes your interactions from superficial to deep and meaningful connections. You let go of what others think of you. You stop taking everything so personally. People will remember you for being genuine. Not everyone is ready to be authentic or vulnerable. It can make some very nervous and uncomfortable. Accepting the fact that we will never be perfect can be challenging for some. Being authentic and offering your presence to another is the biggest gift of all. You connect heart-to-heart. Love is what joins us together. In the presence of love, there is no fear. True love is all about acceptance. We cannot have real love when we don’t love and/or accept ourselves the way we are. Being true to yourself will bring you lasting happiness that striving for perfection or people pleasing never will.
You Hold The Key
You are already worthy. You are already loveable. We all just want to be loved and accepted. The first person we have to learn to love and accept is us. Remember to give yourself permission to be imperfect. We are human after all, by definition, we are that. You already have everything that you need inside of you. You are whole, perfect, loving, kind, harmonious and beautiful. Enjoy the gift of giving your presence.
Jennifer Elizabeth Masters is an inspirational author, empowering those struggling with the issues of being human. Above all else, she is authentic, real, honest and Divinely connected. She empowers, encourages and assists those committed to a life of happiness and harmony to unearth those issues that don’t serve and may even cause dis-ease. She is the creator of the Love Yourself Fearlessly 6-week course. However, she believes true change does not happen overnight, but with daily effort, putting one foot in front of the other each day. Sometimes we need to have someone help us see the light in us, or the light at the end of the tunnel. Either way, Jennifer is a spiritual pathfinder. Rather than following her, she encourages you to find your own path. She will shine the light of awareness so that you can find your way.
Jennifer often works with superhuman women to help the thoughts that created cancer issues, self esteem, sexual abuse, or challenges of family, relationships and success. Her own struggle and challenges in life have led her to help others heal the situations or struggles that she experienced and healed. We are constantly changing and morphing. What is true for us today, may not be true for us tomorrow. Jennifer is wonderful for helping you uncover your gifts, talents and beauty. She allows you to see the humanity that is you. With self acceptance, self love and understanding anything is possible!