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Why Risk Being Authentic?

CC photo courtesy of Chris Huggins via Flickr
CC photo courtesy of Chris Huggins via Flickr

I appreciate authenticity. People who aren’t afraid to be “seen.” Those who laugh until they cry, hug until the recipient has to gasp for breath, cry with or without others around, and dance when they feel the slightest inclination. This, to me, is beautiful.

One of my neighbors exhibits many authentic qualities. She loves it when people stop by uninvited, knows most of the people in the neighborhood by name, and gladly shares her favorite Brazilian coffee. With a thick Peruvian accent, she encourages anyone who enters her house to greatness. She is lovely in the truest sense of the word, and I enjoy being in her company.

I have another friend who is wonderfully authentic. She doesn’t live near me, but she lives a tenacious life in Texas. I love how freely she laughs at life and seems to fully embrace the little moments. A few days ago, I received a package with homemade cookies inside. The funny thing is, both of us would never identify ourselves as bakers, but she baked them with love and shipped them a few states over in hopes they would land in my grateful stomach. This act of kindness was inspiring. Perhaps I will bake more often.

Most people want to live authentically, but they are afraid to be seen. Inauthentic people put their best foot forward but prefer to keep their messier side under wraps. They are afraid of making mistakes. I used to be scared to let my true colors show. My emotions felt too messy to unveil, so I would keep them hidden or simply jot them down in my journal and move on with life. The more I hang around authentic people, however, the safer I have felt to make mistakes. This is a good thing, because I accidentally used my roommate’s wine decanter as a vase, and I fed the neighborhood cat milk once, so to that same roommate’s chagrin, the cat constantly hangs around our house and is in heat. Nevertheless, making mistakes is surprisingly relieving. I was under the impression that I needed to appear perfect, but that is the problem—it was all an act. I don’t want to put on a show any longer.

I am a human. I have blonde hairs on my head, green eyes shaded by long lashes, legs as long as days and a passion to live life with my eyes wide open and a heart open even more. Life is a journey, and my bags are packed. I am all in. Sometimes I am messy, and I am not just speaking about my room. My life can be messy, and so can my emotions. Nevertheless, I just want to be real and tangible. In the end, false advertising is exposing and tiresome throughout. Life is to be celebrated regardless of the season, and it is my understanding that everything in life, excluding a few things like chicken pox, is better shared.

I encourage you to surround yourself with real people. Look for friends and a life mate who value transparency and honesty. People who are open with their life stories, who embrace grace. There is no need to be perfect. Life is a process intended to be enjoyed. I don’t know about you, but I would prefer to live it with authenticity and a certain amount of zest!

About Courtney Werner

Courtney Werner graduated with a major in psychology. She is a self-taught artist from San Diego and is constantly looking for new creative outlets. In addition to painting, she also dabbles with interior design, composing music and writing. Check out her personal blog here: http://courtneywerner.wordpress.com/

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