Be yourself. We hear that everywhere. And yet what do I tell my young client, a woman in her early thirties, when she tells me that she doesn’t know who she is. Parentified at a young age, she was left in charge of her younger siblings; forever the caregiver, never the one being taken care of. There was no time in her young life to discover who she was as an individual, and she carried the weight of an absent father and her mother’s emotional troubles.
We have done much work; exploration as to how her childhood has affected her and she has come to accept the limits of her parents. She has put much needed boundaries into place, and ended a romantic relationship that was unhealthy. We have now moved into the place where she can become curious about who she is, what her qualities are, her interests, values and so forth. Where she was stunted in her emotional growth as a child, she is moving to reclaim.
Authenticity as defined by the Webster’s dictionary is: genuine//true//reliable. I believe that authenticity is a feeling; found in the calm regions of our core. As we gain more confidence in who we are, we have greater access to that feeling, relying on the ability to be genuine rather than on trying to be something we are not. Feet on the floor, take a few deep breaths and bring the thought, “just be yourself” into that space. The calm will guide you to be true.
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