|A truly happy picture my man-friend painted for me on his backyard fence (it remains there today - albeit weathered).|
So I'm thinking about "authenticity". We hear this word bounced around these days (usually from the self help gurus or "spiritual teachers" of our time) but what does it mean to be authentic and why are we (as a society) so frickin scared of it? I know more than a few people living a lie at the moment, but one in particular really upsets me. She will smile and laugh and appear like her life is full of joy and good health and yet she and her husband couldn't be more distant. She shows the signs of unhappiness through constant work and busy-ness. It is apparent she's unhappy on the inside but not yet ready to do anything about it....why? Many others regret the people they have married, the job they are stuck in, the place they are in their lives without taking steps to change. Meanwhile, they walk the earth with a big smile on their face, while they are holding back the tears.
With what we know about the detriments of smoking, sedentary living, eating a balanced diet of deep fried cheese, and not wearing your seat belt, I truly believe (without a doubt or scanning the literature) that living a life not true to ones self is the number one health concern in North America.
I have to be honest myself and say that as I start planning a summer full of wedding plans and moving in together, I'm feeling a sense of happiness and hope I have never felt before. I am starting to realize I have told lies to myself during my 30s and even into my 40s to help me cope with the thoughts of never finding a family of my own, never getting married or finding a man that fit me, and never having kids. Even though I will never have kids of my own, my fiance brings three amazing ones with him (plus one huge and hairy dog - God help my sectional). Last night when he mistakenly introduced me as his wife, I felt a sense of joy I haven't felt before. Could it be that I have been lying to myself all this time that I have been happy or could it be that I never felt what it is truly like to be happy? Perhaps it just the fact that I have found someone that fits me instead of trying my hardest to fit someone.
|Yup. We go together like two beer can turkeys on Thanksgiving!|
Don't get me wrong, I am not suggesting my own happily ever after, but today I'm just thinking about the potential lies I have been telling myself all this time and it has started to open the curtains a bit so I can see clearly. Perhaps we tell ourselves lies to help us cope through our reality. At any rate, I know what I want and I know what is important in my own life. It isn't working out for two hours in the gym, it isn't shopping for the perfect outfit, and it certainly isn't working 12 hours days to climb the ladder.....it's a family (oh my, that sentence just opened my own flood gates). Interesting. I blame it all on the flu.