The pursuit of being authentic goes against the grain of society. The norm is to be fake; the exception is to be authentic. Being authentic goes against the investment of society. Don’t you remember your dream in your early childhood when you reveled in the thought of being a well-known painter? You were obsessed throughout your days and nights with painting and reading about the great painters the world has ever known.
But, when you reach puberty, your father and mother told you to forget about studying fine arts as it doesn’t secure a living. Because your father is a lawyer and makes a good living out of his profession, he wants you to follow his footsteps. And so, you did. A reputable judge who is now listening to one of his criminals and taking some notes with your pencil on a white paper.
Now, The criminal and witnesses seem to respect you the more because you are interested in the case and taking notes. But the reality is that you are fake. You are not listening to anybody; you are listening to your real self that is buried. The notes you are taking are but drawing sketches of the nice face of the criminal that stands in front of you.
There is a solution when you catch yourself in such a moment of fakeness. Upon realizing this inauthenticity, just stop what you are doing. Pull yourself back to the present moment. Reflect afterwards on the experience. When you reflect, accept the real moment that you were yourself and be easy on yourself. Still, you must be honest with yourself and acknowledge that it was all your decision not anybody else’s.
Being your real self is anything but easy. The great Anthony Quinn symbolizes the tragedy and triumph of those who are being themselves. In the movie, Zorba the Greek, Zorba is a character full of life and vitality. He is passionate, daring, and fully present. Though he is illiterate, he has the wisdom of the ages. He knows life more than the intellectuals who got their PHDs.
He lives a life of no expectations. He throws his society’s conventions because, to him, they are dead. He carries no guilt, no shame as he denies nothing and accepts everything. He accepts the painful realities of life and goes into crying. When life gets better, he rejoices and fills his moments with laughter and dancing. That’s what real authenticity feels like.
Being authentic is literally to be your true self. It’s not something to look for in the outer world but rather in your inner world. It’s your core being that makes you unique. It’s your reality that refuses to fit in society’s restrictions but rather to stand out as an image of God.