Renowned expert in mind-body relationships, Deepak Chopra said, “Every time you want to react in the same old way, ask if you want to be a prisoner of the past or a pioneer of the future.” When you have an authentic approach to life, every day, every moment presents a new opportunity for positive change, for growth, and for becoming who you want to be.
Authenticiy represents who you are now, not who you were or what you did or said in the past. It doesn’t depend on who your parents were, how much money you have, or anything you may have done that causes you to feel regret, embarrassment, or shame. This may sound like a contradiction: Many of us can feel strapped in a mistake we made, or something we said in haste, and this can’t always be ignored; but we can reconcile it with what we’ve learned and how it’s changed us to become who we are. We can forgive ourselves, stop judging others, and welcome the future. We no longer need to blame our families or even our former enemies, who were our teachers. It’s not looking toward the past for validation or legitimacy. We’re too busy moving forward and enjoying life on our terms.
A wonderful quote by Wayne Dyer is: “You leave old habits behind by starting out with the thought, ‘I release the need for this in my life.’” In your journey of self-discovery you may realize that your old way of doing things no longer serves you. You can find joy in accepting change and learning to let go. A wise quote by Buddha that may help you in this process is ”You only lose what you cling to.”
Sometimes we can find ourselves in circumstances where we know we’re perceived as different. This is not a cue to try to be like everyone else. There’s beauty in diversity. If those around you can’t accept this and insist through their words and actions that you should follow their example, perhaps it’s time to take a new path.
In achieving authenticity we only need to compete with ourselves. We can remind ourselves with the statement, “I am in competition with no one. I have no desire to play the game of being better than anyone. I am simply trying to be better than the person I was yesterday.” As we focus on this objective, we have no need to compare ourselves with others, who are on their own unique journeys. It’s not about remaining stagnant, and settling for less than we can be or less than what we need to achieve our happiness and self-respect. We all have the potential to find the joy of authenticity. It’s not limited to a certain segment of humanity.
As women it’s time we offer each other support and encouragement. I don’t know who came up with this quote, but it’s timely: “Girls compete with each other. Women empower one another.” Beyond this, I look forward to the day when both men and women are enlightened by the power of love and view one another as equal partners in the human race.
Mary Kathryn “M.K.” Jones