Let me give you a definition of authenticity.  Authenticity is a collection of choices we 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.  We’re going to stop pretending to be perfect.  We are going to use less makeup.  We aren’t just going to tell the good stories about our accomplishments.  We are going to be honest and real with our good and our bad. 

Sounds good right?  Why is it so hard?

What’s the one area of your life that you really don’t want to be real with other people about?

There message is to use makeup, to make sure your hair is shiny and full of bounce and well coifed.  We need to use crest white strips and tummy control underwear die those roots.

“What does Michelle Pfeiffer need?  Absolutely nothing.”  Turns out that wasn’t exactly true.  Here is the touch up artists bill for what needed to be done to make Michelle Pfeiffer look beautiful enough to make the cover.

Clean up complexion, soften eye lines, soften smile line, add color to lips, trim chin, remove neck lines, soften line under earlobe, add highlights to earrings, add blush to cheek, clean up neckline, remove stray hair, adjust color and add hair on top of head, add forehead, soften neck muscle, clean up folds under arm.

Why do we fear authenticity so much?

The bible.  It is as real and authentic as you will ever get. 

Abraham was a liar

Jacob a deceiver and a mama’s boy

Moses  a murderer

David cheated with another man’s wife and then had him killed

Rahab was a prostitute

Samson needed anger management

Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.  I Samuel 16:7.

When I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long. Then I acknowledged my sin to you  and did not cover up my iniquity. I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord.”And you forgave the guilt of my sin. Psalm 32:3,5

Brene’ Brown puts it like this. “Authenticity is the daily practice of letting go of who we think we’re supposed to be and embracing who we are.”

Allow yourself to be imperfect.

Embrace your imperfection quote on my desk

Find someone to share your story with. “Shame hates it when we reach out and tell our story. It hates having words wrapped around it—it can’t survive being shared. Shame loves secrecy. The most dangerous thing to do after a shaming experience is hide or bury our story. When we bury our story, the shame metastasizes.” Brene Brown

Understand that you are loved by God just as you are.

Know that your weaknesses are what makes you human.  It is those weaknesses that bring you to God.  It’s those weaknesses that builds compassion inside of you.  It’s those weaknesses that remind you to care for other people because you get what it feels like weak.

Stop trading approval for authenticity.

What kind of people are you drawn toward?  Perfect people or real people?

Psychology today Authentic people possess a number of common characteristics that show they are psychologically mature and fully functioning as human beings. They…

1. Have realistic perceptions of reality.

2. Are accepting of themselves and of other people.

3. Are thoughtful.

4. Have a non-hostile sense of humor.

5. Are able to express their emotions freely and clearly.

6. Are open to learning from their mistakes.

7. Understand their motivations.