A few years ago I presented a lecture I entitled The Audacity of Authenticity. The name of that lecture has been looping through my awareness lately, and I realize more than ever that really isn’t a talk to be given but a reality to lived. In these days of Halloween costume parties it can be great fun to step into a masked persona that is often as freeing as it is fun. Inhibitions are dropped as we re-enter a child-like game of “can you guess who I am?” Many a sub-conscious fantasy has been played out as men become women, women become pirates, good girls become witches, and muscle men become tinker bell. We are momentarily free of the confines of who we think we have to be, and the blissfulness is palpable, inviting, and liberating.
And so as I face the re-looping of my talk title once again as I feel equally into the flowing fun of the seasonal masquerade. I am confronted and confused by the esoteric question of the ages “well, who am I anyway? Which me is the authentic me, and which are the roles I have been conditioned and programmed to play in this worldly game of fit in or get out? If I were audacious enough this day to be truly and fully authentic, what would that look and feel like, and would I have the courage to live that out? There are certainly parts of my personality self that I have fought long and hard to suppress, control, and hide. Of course, these are the very same parts that occasionally come leaping forward when I am triggered beyond any measure of self control. Are the parts of me that I so want to be free of indications of an inauthentic me, or are they actually a healthy reaction to the self-stifling of the wild and wondrous being trapped behind the mask of tribal rules and societal convention? I fear that if I gave into and let loose all the darker aspects of my person I would be scarier than any horror house goblin! And yet I have found that these murkier traits only become stronger in the struggle of my inner resistance. I find that after years of hiding, mask wearing, role playing, and as many seeming tricks as there have been treats, I am left to finally become friendly with the wholeness of who I seem to be at this point in my emergence. While I would still at times rather out-picture as the perfect self-image I deem to be the greatest version of my self, that ideal actually and honestly feels as much a role as does the midnight monster of my hidden rage and despair. The smiling mask of my spiritualized self will slip and fall off as my heart aches and my fears arise and my valor droops. And yet it is all a part of the self I have become to be. It is only my self opinion that leads to my suffering and shame. It is the evaluation of my self that separates me from the Knowingness of Source.
I have come to value authentic presence over fictional pretence, and it is freeing and liberating beyond description. I am very clear that I am a Soul that is here with a body and a personality, and I am devoted to being the very best that my Soul is calling me to be. And that includes the fullness and the wholeness of my sometimes fearful, anal-retentive, hyper-sensitive, over-critical, generous, compassionate, bawdy, wildly creative, loving, often wordy, humorous, uplifting, totally devoted self.
I am audacious enough this day to finally be my full and free authentic me. I have played enough roles this lifetime, on and off the stage. And so I have removed the masks and relinquished the pretense and I am showing up in life as fully me as I know how to be. I am committed to living fully my Divinity and freely my humanity. I am committed to embracing the wholeness of me exactly as I am. I am committing to seeing through the painful roles that I and others sometimes play, and to relish the uniqueness and the beauty of the human race at large. I am audacious enough to know that behind these wondrous roles we have come here to earth to embody there is the constant Truth of the Authentic Self that transcends roles and masks of any kind. I am audaciously authentic enough this day to simply live as me.
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