Recently I heard a talk on authenticity by licensed clinical psychologist, Dr. Ramani Durvusula. She explained how people who have done the work to become self-actualized, people who are authentic, are more equipped to handle difficult situations and challenging relationships. This may sound like common sense but as she described what she meant by an authentic person I was intrigued. I was reminded of, and learned more deeply, the following.
Authentic people live in alignment with meaning and purpose. They have genuine humility to know both their strengths and their weaknesses. They are able to regulate emotions while also being capable of vulnerability in an emotional space. They don’t personalize the bad behavior of another or let small stuff get under their skin.
Authentic people are solid in the truth of who they are and they trust their experience.
Authentic people have a serenity that comes with wisdom and thus are soothing to be around. They neither enable or shame others, even when met with someone’s darkness, but instead gently course correct with graciousness. They will walk away if necessary and do so maintaining civility even if the other cannot muster that level of decency in return. They are transparent and if their honesty upsets someone they don’t make it their business.
Authentic people live congruently with who they were designed to be.
The attributes of an authentic person are many. These are not people who have lived without struggle, quite the contrary. They integrate each tough lesson of life as they encounter it, reinforcing wholeness with harmony.
As I reflect upon the authentic people I have been blessed to know some of my favorite mentors come to mind. What I realize about each of them is that their authenticity was grounded in an intentional spiritual journey. This could be an organized religion, a 12-step program, or a life-long commitment to growth. Whatever the method, these wise souls practice… daily… living a life centered on Love.
When looking over these qualities of authenticity, we can consider the ones we may have been blessed to develop as well as the ones we can aim for in time.
May you be inspired!