Friday, February 22, 2013

Authenticity - My New Year's Outlook

New Year New Outlook

In regular January fashion I sit in my living room surrounded by a blissful silence and think about my New Year's Resolutions.  The kitchen is a mess, toys are scattered all across the floor and a dog barks incessantly outside but I can still find my window of peace.  It only takes a few things to bring me to that calm.  My headphones playing some of my favorite music, a comfy seat in my living room, an open window to view the outside and something to read or write.  I think it is a woman's skill, necessary so we can refuel when needed without concern for every chore that is being ignored.  I thank God for it because it has certainly saved my sanity more than once. 

With the husband at work, my oldest at school and the baby resting in his crib there is no better moment to do some introspective study.  I pondered what my resolutions might look like this year, lose weight, eat better, save money, etc.   Frustrated by the thinness of those desires I began to look around the room.  The style, colors and decor were all my taste and a look into who I truly was.  From the black and white picture collage on the wall to the family oriented pictures on the mantel I was surrounded by things that I loved.  And in that something of value started to appear, the word AUTHENTIC. 

I love that word, it holds such promise and seems so full of life.  To live authentically in my mind is a true version of freedom. 

Recently I watched a clip on Ted.com by Brene Brown called The power of vulnerability.  

She conducted a study on connection and really dives into what makes people feel worthy of true relationships with other people.  And instead of focusing on those that did not feel worthy of connection she turned to those that did thereby focusing on what was working right and not wrong.   I loved her positive, reverse approach to the human need of being attached.  Everyone looks at why things fail but only a few choose to focus on how things succeed.

What she uncovered about each person that felt they were were worthy of a true connection was that they all had courage to live an imperfect life. 

They all had the courage to live and IMPERFECT life.

A couple of quotes from the talk were:

"They had connections as a result of authenticity.  They were willing to let go of who they thought they should be to be who they were."  Brene Brown

"They believe that what made them vulnerable made them beautiful."  Brene Brown

I've been working through this very thought for many years but more intently since I found out that my hearing was changing.  It is a unique thing to learn something about yourself that immediately causes you to be categorized or labeled.  I didn't choose it no, it chose me and I willingly submit to all that it means to be considered deaf. 

I thought about listing my imperfections, outside of not being able to hear very well, but I came to the realization that those of you that know me already see them and it is only in my heart that I need to acknowledge what they are. 

My imperfections make me who I am and each one is an opportunity to grow and turn towards a more authentic living.  

I hear the sound of my one year old stirring through the baby monitor and I know my time for introspect is over, I wouldn't have it any other way.  I am grateful as I rise out of my writing place and glance around, no chores were completed, no office work was done but my tank was refueled and I feel energized. 

It's a good day.