Understanding Your Daily Focus
Something I’ve been working on a lot since my Saturn return a few years ago is living as authentically as possible. I’ve found that while this is a personal and private endeavor, the only place where this really matters is in interpersonal relationships. The work I do to be secure with myself and my life is only tested, and in turn tempered, by interactions with others. Things like self-doubt, shame, and past trauma are put under a magnifying glass when we’re forced to confront these aspects of ourselves for someone else. This is why authentic connection is so powerful, why it’s such a great tool for growth, and also why inauthentic connection, focused on selfish motives, cannot foster true growth. In this week’s Daily Focus, I want to look at authenticity, how we focus on what it means for our own healing journeys, and what that means for our relationships; friends; family; and lovers.
Saturday, February 19
“Authenticity is a collection of choices that we
have to make every day. It’s about the choice to show up and be real. The
choice to be honest. The choice to let our true selves be seen.”
At its most basic, authenticity is a choice. It’s a choice
that then requires commitment, access to tools, and a willingness to show up
and do your best. There isn’t a single moment that defines us, but rather a
series of moments that we can look at and examine, take note of where we feel
like our true selves, and where we feel the need to deflect and hide.
Sunday, February 20
“We are all connected; To each other, biologically. To
the earth, chemically. To the rest of the Universe atomically.” –Neil
Connection is at the heart of authenticity. Remembering that
we are all the same, not just biologically, but spiritually; we are all here trying
to do what we think is best, trying to create a world that we want our children
to live in. Being able to accept fault in others is a good first step to being
able to accept fault in ourselves.
Monday, February 21
“I define connection as the energy that exists between
people when they feel seen, heard, and valued; when they can give and receive
without judgment; and when they derive sustenance and strength from the
relationship.” –Brené Brown
Connection is the ability to be authentic with someone and appreciate their authenticity in return. This is why, when people present a false face to the world and we, as trusting people, believe them—the pain is deep, and often lasting. When it happens enough, we begin to mistrust people who may not deserve it out of self-preservation. It’s impossible to control others or their journey to authenticity, but modeling it is a good start. All we can do is show up with honesty and defer back to empathy when we’re met with anything less.
Tuesday, February 22
“Stay away from conflictive, negative people that pull
you down, because they contaminate your energy and impede your progress. Search
for people who look at the world with optimism, that inspire you, make you
happy, and provide peace of mind.” –Pablo
The second side of the “you can’t control others” coin is that you can choose to separate yourself from people who are not on your level. Sometimes the only way to grow is to break free and leave the restrictive confines of the past behind.
Wednesday, February 23
“We have to dare to be ourselves, however
frightening or strange that self may prove to be.” –May
Shame is so tricky. It’s an emotion we can only feel about ourselves, and usually, we are the ones who feel it most acutely. But like anything, living with your true self hidden away creates despair. Whether it’s sexuality, gender identity, mental health diagnosis, embarrassing hobbies, or strange habits—it’s important to embrace that side of you as well.
Thursday, February 24
“The most authentic thing about us is our
capacity to create, to overcome, to endure, to transform, to love, and to be
greater than our suffering.” –Ben Okri
Transformation. As we grow, evolve, and shed layers—we transform. We must be willing to let go of not just the past, but the person we believe we are in order to see who we may become. Transformation can be small, or it can be life-altering—but it always opens up to a new path we might not have explored otherwise.
Friday, February 25
“The privilege of a lifetime is to become who you
truly are.” –C.G. Jung
There is enlightenment in authenticity, and it comes in the
form of knowing that we actually don’t know anything. I try to remind myself
that even when I feel sure about something, that’s only enough for this moment,
this version of right now. Things will change, and I will change with them, and
that is truly the gift of growth.
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