Thursday, November 20, 2014

authenticity: untitled

Does anyone else ever feel like life has a funny little way of handing you challenges at the exact moment you're thinking that you can't take anymore? Or that your current challenge seems to target whatever you're working to improve?

Story of my life. And probably yours too.

Let's be real here, we all have challenges and I believe they are specifically catered to what we need---in my experience, strengthening my weaknesses or imperfections or learning to embrace them as such. The last two months as I've been working on authenticity have been no different. I've shared a few experiences that have helped me practice authenticity or accept others authenticity, and I've dealt with even more that I've chosen to keep private. Whether these challenges have lasted a day, a week, or are still ongoing one thing has remained the same: I've always received exactly what I need.

In the past I would end there with my "someone's always got your back" speech and say that if you're doing everything in your power and being the best person you can be, it will all be okay. And I still stand by that message. But as I've been specifically thinking about authenticity and how I need to let others see me struggle and help me out, I've been trying to ask for what I need rather than "just dealing with it". For example, last night on our walk Wes brought up a topic that is really hard for me to discuss. After a few moments of putting on a brave face and sharing my thoughts, I'd had enough. In the past, I would just shut down then and there until Wes got the message. Instead, I told Wes I'd had enough of the subject and needed to change topics. He politely obliged and we were quickly discussing something much easier for me to handle.

My mother is famous for saying, "It never hurts to ask!" Like, really. I'm sure my dad has heard it more times than days they've been married. But it's so true! You will never know some answers until you ask, and you may never get some things you need if you don't ask. For example, sometimes my principal is terrifying (she doesn't mean to be, she's just assertive and there's absolutely nothing wrong with that), so you can imagine how a meek introvert like me has a difficult time asking for favors or other things I need that aren't the norm. But I've found that if I just ask her for what is needed, she almost always agrees and goes above and beyond to help. Case in point: I need to leave work early today to make it to a wedding dinner on time. It's not totally kosher for a faculty member to leave work before students, but I figured I would ask. You wanna know her response? "Oh sure! You can even leave earlier than that if you need to!" See? All I needed to do was ask.

Moral of the story is that sometimes the best way to be our authentic selves is to ask--ask for help, ask a question if we don't understand, ask for more time or space, etc. It's okay to be unsure of things or what to do. It's not okay to become stagnant because we aren't willing to ask.


Post a Comment