Wanting Authenticity

MY JOURNAL PROMPT today was: Ask for what you want.

Sometimes I wonder if I want too much or think about what I want too often. Maybe in wanting so much I buck and twist and resist what is, missing the point of life entirely. Perhaps what I need most is to be fully in each moment, not wanting anything. Is that even possible? Wanting seems to be as natural and normal as breathing.

I want to be at peace. To experience and appreciate each moment as perfect, just the way it is. I want to rest in the knowledge that I am in the right place at the right time, that all is well, and that there is nothing I have to do to make things right.

I want to know that I cannot fail; I can only be in the process of achieving. I am either there yet or not. Some things take longer than others.

I want to make time in my day, each day, to enjoy nature. I want to walk under a tree, feel the breeze on my skin, look at the sky and feel in awe of the greatness of nature.

I want the freedom to be me and not feel pressure to conform to others’ views of who I should be—in any role—whether it be as parent, girlfriend, mother, grandmother, or simply a woman in this society. I want to be who I am, authentic, in each moment.

That thought brings me round to the question: What does it mean for ME to be authentic? Do I know who I am?


The older I get, the more I resist defining myself with words. When I was younger, I described myself by my relationships to others or by my activities. “I’m a mother (teacher or wife or secretary or writer or photographer),” I would say when asked to tell someone about myself. And no matter how much I talked, even if I shared my entire life story with someone, the answer was always inadequate to the question, “Who are you? No, who are you really?”

Here is what I now know: I am more than roles or relationships, and I am more than what I do each day, though this was the language I was taught for defining myself in this world. It is in relationship to things outside our selves that we construct the borders and lines of our Selfs. In the end, we succeed only in constructing fences.

So how then do I know myself? By my values and my desires. I value freedom. I value choice. I value creativity. I value peace and joy and love. I value vulnerability and honesty.

Freedom, personal freedom, is always on top for me, and I wonder why this is so. Is it because I had so much freedom as a child? Or is it because when I was young I felt so much pressure to conform all the time, pressure that I often bowed to out of wanting to feel accepted? In trying so hard to be what others wanted me to be, I didn’t allow myself to be true to this Self I am finally remembering. I needed courage to stand up to the scrutiny of others.

So that’s what all this wanting is about … freedom to be true to Self. Freedom to make those authentic choices that I intuit are best for me, regardless of how other people see them.

I want to be true to my own values. In each moment. Wanting … being … authentic.

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