In her book The Gifts of Imperfection, Brené Brown, PhD, LMSW discusses ten guideposts for the wholehearted journey. She describes these guideposts as “daily practices that provide direction” towards living a wholehearted life.
Each month for the next ten, WECHC is going to spotlight one of these guideposts. In doing so, we are inviting all members of WECHC: staff, clients, friends and family alike, to participate in integrating these principles into their daily lives.
Wherever you are on your journey of self-discovery, please, join us!
Brené describes authenticity as “the daily practice of letting go of who we think we are supposed to be and embracing who we are”.
Choosing authenticity means:
- Cultivating the courage to be imperfect, to set boundaries, and to allow ourselves to be vulnerable;
- Exercising the compassion that comes from knowing that we are all made of strength and struggle; and
- Nurturing the connections and sense of belonging that can only happen when we believe that we are enough. (The Gifts of Imperfection, pg 50)
As I’ve discussed with clients and staff what authenticity looks like over the past few weeks, I’ve heard things like: “not saying ‘I’m okay’ when I’m not”; “asking for help”; “being vulnerable and expressing my emotions”; and “honoring my truth even at the risk of disappointing others”.
These things are not easy. If we are going to be authentic about authenticity, we need to acknowledge the discomfort and effort involved in being authentic. We need to acknowledge that there might be some push back from others if we let go of merely people pleasing and going with the flow in order to present our true selves to the world.
Yet, as Brené reminds us, there is even greater risk in hiding ourselves from the world. She warns “Caution: If you trade in your authenticity for safety, you may experience the following: anxiety, depression, eating disorders, addiction, rage, blame, resentment, and inexplicable grief”.
This feels like too big of a price to pay.
The good news is that we don’t have to do this authenticity journey alone, we are in it together. And, as we each step into being real moment-by-moment, we open ourselves to greater freedom and love.
So, please join us.
Your silly, messy, irreplaceable self, in all of its’ glory, is welcome and wanted here!
Nikki Holm, Chaplain, MA