Dear LORD, please Bless us ALL cause this is ME!
People think that you should get over being a victim of violence because they think that nothing of value was taken.
Not like a car, large screen t.v., computer or anything valuable like that. Nothing you can put down on a police report, right?
Victims/Survivors are robbed of things that can never be replaced.
One of the first things that is taken from victims/Survivors of domestic and sexual violence is authenticity.
We take authenticity too casually. Yeah, we take it for granted.
People want success.
People want wealth.
People want someone to love them.
People want to change the world.
But, who wants authenticity.
In other words, who wants to be more honest with themselves?
Authenticity is when you are able to live without feeling the need to change your words and actions to impress others. I mean no one. Not even family.
If you live in a state of authenticity, you can relax and be yourself. Victims of domestic and sexual violence can’t do that. These types of crimes are crimes that force victims into hiding.
WE have to hide as WE are being abused.
WE have to hide after the acts of abuse stop because our stories, sadness, and other symptoms make OTHER people uncomfortable.
WE have to hide after the acts of abuse stop because OTHER people are ignorant about …..well too much.
So, in order to be convincing at this, WE have to lie to ourselves. Before you know it, WE begin to feel as if WE are walking around in life wearing a masks.
Before you can be authentic, it’s important to know yourself. This includes your values and goals. Authenticity becomes possible when you know what’s important to you.
7 Ways to embrace authenticity and present yourself honestly:
1. Give up the need to appear perfect. Excellent is will do just fine. People who feel the need to appear perfect, are in the best position to be honest. No one can be perfect and honest at the same time. Your life doesn’t have to be the world’s entertainment. You’ll only regret it.
· It’s okay to be less than spectacular. Be the best at being yourself.
2. Know your values. Live by them. If you know your values and live by them as often as you can, you are already on the way.
· Make a list of your values and determine the five that are most important to you. Are you living your life according to these values, in all things? Would it be obvious to others that you hold these values?
Others should be able to tell by what you do and not by your t-shirt, bumper sticker, last name, credentials, income, zip code, etc.
If not, why not? Why live in hiding? Are you ashamed of the values? Is it that the people you keep company with wouldn’t accept you?
Whatever is keeping you from living an inauthentic life should really be cross-examined by you.
It is hard enough just being yourself, much less trying to be folks you ain’t.
· Decide to make your decisions based upon your values. Be willing to share your values with others.
3. Notice when you’re not being authentic. It’s not easy to be authentic all the time. You might find yourself transforming based on the situation. A first date is a good example. Are you being authentic or pretending to be someone you’re not?
· Take note of those times your authenticity starts to wane
4. Know your goals. What do you want out of life? Do you know? Are you willing to let others know? By knowing your goals, you can you live your life accordingly.
· Make a list of your short-term and long-term goals. How well do they align with your values?
5. What are your defining characteristics? Describe yourself honestly. Now ask yourself if a casual acquaintance would describe you the same way? How about someone that knows you well? How about your closest friend?
· What are your “negative” characteristics? Are you impatient or messy? Are you willing to allow others to see these characteristics or do you attempt to hide them?
6. Just go on and accept your humanity. Admit your mistakes, weaknesses, and frailties.
AND, allow others to speak well of you, because you have value. This is true too.
7. Simplify your life. Get rid of everything that’s extraneous. What you choose to keep will be representative of your preferences and your true self. Find your true essence by stripping away the non-essential. Start with the clothes you never wear, the things you never use, and the activities you don’t enjoy. Only keep the things that mean the most to you.
Life becomes easier when you’re living authentically.
You’ll no longer feel the exhaustion that comes with constantly changing your opinions, attitudes, and personality to please others.
You’ll no longer feel the need to protect yourself from others.
Be authentic with your thoughts, words, and actions. Invest the time in yourself and learn to be free.
Tonya is a Social Justice Info Expert with over 23 years experience. She holds a BS in Organizational Management & Development. Her cat MiaBelle is her co-writer.
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