A Season of Authenticity

How does one gain and maintain authenticity? Having a formula would be sinfully ironic to the topic at hand, so let’s have a go at finding personal and genuine authenticity in a world where we are prided on fitting in and having much of the same. I came up with a few ideas and personal markers toward freedom. These came from my years of discovery and journey thus far.

 

\\ Be comfortable being alone

Photo courtesy of Michael Wells of Rampant Photo

 

You have to be willing to find yourself first. You may think, “Easy, done! My name is _____, I am a professional ______ and I like sushi and bowling.”  That’s not what I mean.

Finding yourself can (and should) be more difficult than that. If you’re wondering where to begin in your search, the idea may surprise you.

 

 

\\ Name your demons

 

Once you are in the quiet, alone, it is time to find some healing. The early stages of finding your true self, I believe, involve a little digging and that digging won’t feel good, at first. The result is immeasurable healing and freedom though, so go ahead, name them!

Call them out one-by-one.

 

Maybe someone left you or you left them. Maybe you said or did something wrong, maybe it was really really wrong. Maybe you fell down into the depths of sorrow and never really picked yourself back up but you appear to have it together on the outside. Maybe you gambled, smoked, lied a lot to people you love, drank too much, hurt someone, committed a crime or two of grand or minor proportions. Maybe you are deeply lonely and afraid and can’t admit it. Maybe you are angry, so so angry, and are afraid to look back for fear of never moving forward.

Listen though, dear friend. You cannot move forward without first going back.

 

Name your demons.

Write them down even!

 

Then put them in the dust. Take your heel and stomp it to the ground. Rip them to shreds. Destroy them.

…because that’s not who you are.

 

Now look at you. Just look at you, you beautiful mess, God’s going to put you together again!

 

\\ New as it was in the beginning

 

“But then I will win her back once again. I will lead her into the desert and speak tenderly to her there.” – Hosea 2:14

“Who is this, coming up from the desert leaning on her lover?” -Songs 8:5

 

Did you ever journal or keep notes?

 

Read your old journals. Don’t torture yourself, just read what is needed to reflect. I did this recently and highly recommend it!

–       Circle the positives and things that came to pass.

–       Cross out negative things you spoke over yourself.

–       Write yourself a letter of forgiveness and acknowledgement of your youth and what has occurred already.

 

 

\\ Embrace all your ages

 Photo courtesy of Michael Wells of Rampant Photo

“I am all the ages I have ever been.” – Anne Lamott

 

You are where you are now and that alone is incredible because you’ve overcome and every second is being made new by our Creator. So, take a deep breath, it is going to be okay.

What you have dealt with already is done and may it propel you forward into new life. Because those things you buried in the dust are going to grow new life.

 

 

\\ Explore Your Loves

 

We spend most of our youth being taught and told what to do, say and think. From political views to favorite movies and music. Now it’s time to weed through it all.

What do YOU love? Where do you like to go, and what do you enjoy doing? What sets your heart racing? Do those things, more.

 

Maybe you love sharing old books rather than reading them. Maybe you love hosting dinner parties. Maybe you hate dinner parties and would rather sip coffee on your back porch and write out dreams. Maybe you love to hike by yourself into unknown. Maybe you like to be a passenger and go on road trips with the windows up staring at the stars. Maybe you like to write, draw, snuggle, watch black and white movies, garden (even if you kill plants), or enjoy eating a whole pumpkin pie.

Maybe you hate running and love long walks. Maybe you wish we never progressed past the cassette tapes and miss winding those darned contraptions. Maybe technology scares you, even in your twenties and you long for simplicity. Maybe you like being just a number in the world and find solace in the anonymity.

 

Whoever you are, you are unique. No one else is like you though we so often fit others’ molds to fit in when we really, sincerely, do not have to.

  

 

\\ Don’t Fit In

Photo courtesy of Michael Wells of Rampant Photo

 

This may come as a shock but life is so much better if you actually do not fit in. When fitting in means mimicking everyone else and hiding your “weird” qualities you’re robbing yourself and others of the joy that comes from how amazing you really and truly are.

So, give people a chance to love you for exactly who you are, the quirky and weird included, and stop spending your time with people who put you down for it. Somehow, in the right crowd of people, whoever YOU are will shine brightly.

Find somewhere to shine brighter than you can imagine because life is about JOY and love and not about fitting in.

 

 

\\ Be fully you

 

Know your identity in Christ. You are a child of light and not darkness. So, who you are at the core is precious and beloved. See more identity verses here.

 

Let’s say that you love to laugh. Well then laugh, and loudly if you like!

Find what you authentically think is funny. Laugh until you can’t breathe easily. Snort. Make jokes that make no sense and then laugh again if you think it’s funny, or if the sheer awkwardness of the joke is too much to keep inside.

 

No matter who you are or what you love or don’t like so much,  just be authentically you and don’t ever forget that that’s exactly how you were perfectly and wonderfully made by a Creator who died to know you.

 

 

All Love,

From one delightful weirdo to another

 

Be blessed and bless others with your own perfectly unique light.

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6 thoughts on “A Season of Authenticity

  1. paigelaurel says:

    This is absolutely beautiful. I am so blessed by your insight and your struggles and your triumphs that the Lord has granted you.

    I am encouraged constantly to remember by identity is in Christ. It’s a good encouragement to remind others that who they are at their core is someone that was created by God. And when we’re in that relationship being directly connected to the Lord revitalizes us and allows us to see who we truly are. It allows us to throw of the sins that so quickly weigh us down and keep us from striving towards the goal of eternal life in the presence of Ultimate Goodness, The Lord.

    Love you and am blessed to read your words.

    • Toni Lyn says:

      So glad you relate to and are encouraged by this. Thanks for your own wisdom, too. It’s my hope that others enter into more freedom as I share what God places on my heart, so thanks for sharing it! I am so blessed to know you Paige, and watch your own journey. Love you, too!

  2. Keeley J says:

    I really enjoyed this post. All your writings are encouraging. Thanks for the lift. I’m honored to walk with you in your journey. Keep posting! Love ya girl. 🙂

  3. scevans says:

    Sounds like an amazing program for a weekend retreat! Challenging and inspiring!

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