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Jesus Christ, who offers me a path to an authentic life. Also, the friends He has provided who have loved me enough to call me out on my inauthenticities.
To be honest – my therapist and my boss. Both help me see my gifts.
That’s a difficult one. There have been so many, from parents to friends to advisors and countless teachers.
My dear friend and mentor, Cory. Earlier this year, I found out she is suffering with early-onset Alzheimer’s. I made a special trip back home to visit her in the care facility she had been moved to. It was SO very hard to see this once-vibrant woman starting to slip away. I have known her for about 42 years now. I can’t imagine who I would be had it not been for her presence in my life through my teenage years and beyond.
My mom. She taught me to value love as the most essential thing that matters and it’s helped me to keep anchored in relating to people as human beings. She encouraged me to do what I felt was the right thing and be empathetic. She used her life to shield and help others in need. I still recall her stopping to make sure the police were not manhandling homeless people in our neighborhood, this was way before police brutality was a thing. She was very hardworking and very altruistic, quick to forgive and had a lot of class while being very selfless. I’m crass and curse like a sailor, disagreeable haha but thankfully her lessons stuck.
At every phase of my now rather long life (age 73) I have been drawn to people who exude authenticity; who are living true to themselves. These mentors, teachers, spiritual guides, friends always appear. In the beginning I was mystified and sometimes intimidated by their authenticity but knew this was the journey I was meant to take too – in my way and in my time. And so it continues.
Elaine, I appreciate what you are saying in a big way, very grateful for every single person and each step of my journey.
inner conscience, this little heart of mine, I’m gonna let it shine
The great spiritual teachers of antiquity inspire me to live my most authentic life. Krishna, the Buddha, Laozi, Kongzi, Moses, Jesus, Muhammad, Zarathustra, Baha’u’llah, and other great teachers remind me to continually seek the truth so that I can be a voice of change and transformation in the world.
Within the context of the original meaning of inspire – “to breathe spirit into one’s Soul”, I can think of two people, both teachers.
My four brothers. One brother is a twin and they have always been supportive of me through thick and thin times. Encouraging me to follow my dreams and be true to myself. They also are very forgiving if I make mistakes in my life. I am so grateful for them.
To be authentic means to live our actions in accordance with our thoughts and words, to be who we are beyond our societal roles and regardless of what others might think about us. . . . who we are when no one else is looking.
The fact of the matter is that a different version of us exists in the minds of everyone who knows us; not one of which is whole, complete, or even necessarily accurate. I’d much prefer to become my BEST SELF; that expression of myself that is gently and constantly burnished through the relentless friction of dealing with others. Buddhists have a wonderful concept of the Kalyāṇa-mittatā, “the noble friendship”; the one who does not tolerate artifice or duplicity in us. This individual is the most finely polished mirror by which the essence of our own soul is reflected.
This individual, in my life, is Nunya
Wow so many….too many to name or even remember! I do have to say tho, this site reminds me often to be my authentic self. It has taught me how to be my authentic self & what it means to be my authentic self. Thank you All…..🙏❤️🙏
My sister, who is always true to herself, and is a bright shining light because of her genuineness. Also, my son, because I hope that by my modeling authenticity, he will live with integrity and always be true to himself.
Watching animals inspires me a lot. My daughter is handicapped. She almost forces me to be authentic. I studied fine arts (now I am working as a nurse). Paintings that weren’t authentic didn’t say anything to me, though they were looking nice. While practicing some piece of music. The beauty is there only, once it is played authentically.
There are people through whom deep peace and stillness is shining into the outer world. they always left a long lasting impression within me. but also people who always want to represent or shine as something or someone 8 I myself are one of them) show me in what direction I don’t want to move… Please excuse my week English. I am not used to it to much
I have a few friends who are really into solo travel- I enjoy traveling and visiting new places, restaurants, breweries on my own…but sometimes I feel like for some reason my experience is less valid because I’m by myself — even though a lot of times I actually prefer it that way. Pre-covid I took a few short solo trips and had a really good experience. I hope that my solo travel friends continue to inspire me in the future…
This is inspiring Lauryn – I’m single, have been for 5 yrs now and would love to travel. I feel too nervous/scared to do so by myself bc I feel like it’s more fun with companions – whether family/partner/friends. I should have courage and try it:)
This is a really good question, I’ve never really thought about it before. I don’t feel like my parents have, honestly. Probably my grandma. She always wants me to be truthful and honest with everyone, no matter what it’s about. But I feel like I challenge myself the most to live my most authentic life. I always try to be me for me and if other people don’t like it then so what!
Me, myself, and I…
In the fall of 2016, my ex-husband’s aunt, who I was very close to and who was very religious, said something to me that tipped me over the edge to do right for me. She knew how toxic my relationship with my ex was, and what she said to me was that there are some people who were meant to live a life of suffering but that had a very special place in heaven. She basically told me that I’d be a saint in heaven for my suffering on earth. In that moment, I knew she was wrong. And I knew that I was not meant to suffer nor should I suffer anymore. It triggered me to take the steps I needed to leave that situation, and by the beginning of 2017, I was out. I made peace with God, and I put my happiness at the top of the list, whereas it had never been on there before. My life has changed dramatically, and I’m so grateful that it has! I feel authentic and true to myself, and I love the life I am living.
That’s wonderful, sunnypatti.
Bravo, sunnypatti! I suspect your serve as an example to others with your courage.
Everyone and every circumstance that happened in life, so far.
Someone in a direct way, someone indirectly.
Someone in good way.
Someone in a very bad way, though often without awareness of that.
In a word, my constellation of relationships.
A formerly close family member who was controlling. The relationship evolved into something toxic, taking a toll on my mental and emotional health. It started impacting many relationships, my finances, and even career. Until I’ve had enough and cut ties, despite backlash I received from other family members. It took time and commitment to myself to never ever let someone do that to me again. It took time for me to love myself, to know I’ll be okay, and to always be true to myself and what I stand for. Unapologetically.
Children….a constant reminder to live life simply, except less and to enjoy every moment.
Three incidents rather than a person, but the people involved in them were what made them possible.
1. Someone challenged me at age 16 with “If you are going to throw your life away, why not give it away?” 44.5 years of non-salaried volunteer work has followed.
2. I bled to death in 2004. That brings about reality again and again. The other side caused me to question how I live my spirituality, life, and my place in this world and beyond.
3. An autism diagnoses suggested by my boyfriend (also neurodivergent) last year changed it all for me, the missing piece in the puzzle. The filter I needed to understand how I run my life and how I have masked to fit in and not been able to be my most authentic self. That has all shifted since then.
It was my x partner, this was the most difficult relationship I have ever been in, but because of this, I was able to see areas of thought and action that did not reflect who am I. This awareness gave me the ability to pick a new road.
It was two towering Quaker mentors, Ruth Martucci and Jim Toothaker, when looking back, who had the greatest influence upon my life and faith as a young man. Jim was a Quaker minister who at every turn was kind, committed, steady and generous in his ministry of caring for others while also promoting peaceful engagement with thorny social justice issues of his day. Ruth was an elder in the truest sense of the word, who’s presence could be felt as she entered a room before ever saying a word. Her face seemed to glow when she was engaged with others in conversation, regardless of the topic. It just felt like the Holy Spirit was nearby whenever Ruth began to speak.
I carry the memory of these two cherished Friends in my heart and soul each and every day.
This website and the people who participate:)
Karel, my husband and love of my life. Thanks to him I have been transformed from a person who was somewhat insecure to someone who can be there. And my father taught me an important lesson. Self-pity is one of the worst things you can do to yourself. It is feeding the ego, and bringing you down. I needed that lesson as a kid.
My grandmother’s best friend. When I was 14 she told me to be true to myself, as that was the most important thing in life. At the time the truth was something very few people in my life paid much attention to. Very few of the adults in my life were authentic. And, at the time, it resonated so deeply it stuck. It saved my life.
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