You want it. You need it. You gotta have it.
But what does authenticity mean when you have a rainforest mind? When you have so many monkeys swinging from your branches? When your terrain is so lively, emotional and intense?
How do you live authentically in all of your jungle glory and not overwhelm the humans more used to the meadow life? How do you live authentically when you’re made up of layers upon layers that you haven’t even uncovered yourself?
Authenticity for the rainforest-minded does NOT mean that you have to show all of who you are all of the time. Instead, it means being real and true to yourself.
I get that you want to be totally direct, sincere and clear. All of the time. Everywhere.
Am I right?
And yet. If you’re around chainsaw humans, particularly if they’re family members, it’s authentic to protect yourself. This may mean that you limit your time with them or that you only share small bits of yourself. If you’re around humans who get overwhelmed by your intensity and intellect, you may need to slow your pace and select activities that allow for less talk and more action. You may need to switch from fire hose to garden hose.
And if you’re being strategic in your relationships as a way to improve your experiences with others or as a way to cope with difficult people, you’re being authentic. (By strategic I mean thinking carefully about how you interact. This is not being manipulative, in case you’re wondering. It’s being analytical and sensitive.) You can be both sincere and strategic at the same time. You are consciously making the most compassionate choice in the moment.
If this news is discouraging, I understand. Find other gifted humans with whom you can be your deep, sensitive, complicated self. I’ve written about where to find them on other posts. Remember the silent reading party? There are ways to find others who live in the rain forest. You can also express your authenticity, for example, through an art form, in your garden, raising children, in your house remodel, or on your blog. Or on my blog.
But, honey, as long as you’re being real and true to yourself, your authenticity is intact.
Trust me on this. Your monkeys will thank you.
To my bloggEEs: What does authenticity mean to you? How are you authentic in relationships and with yourself? Do you agree with the idea that you need to be strategic some of the time? Your comments deepen everyone’s experience of my blog. Thank you for reading and contributing.
You may not hear from me as often over the next few weeks. I’m preparing my talk for the SENG conference in Chicago, USA, in August. If you get there, please find me and introduce yourself.