A Declaration of Authenticity

In the course of a personal journey, it will invariably become necessary to dissolve the psychological frameworks that at one time were extremely formative and meaningful. This dissolution and deconstruction is not without discomfort; we might have to let go of our certainty, let go of cherished beliefs, let go of who we think we are or how we thought things have to be. As we become aware that we are holding ourselves in an unnecessarily painful state, we can choose to hold onto less, and in so doing make room for more and beyond what we were previously. Like a seed does not stay a seed, the authentic human being grows from one stage and cycle to another internally as well as externally. After the deconstruction comes some fun and experimentation. We come out of our shell and find there is freedom we may not have experienced previously. We may yet feel our fears, we still may have the desire to guard and to self-protect, but ultimately this expression--as dissonant as it can first feel from where we were before--creates space for the process of integration. We accept ourselves: From the inner shadow and chaos that we didn't know what to do with to the beaming light and sense of order. We accept ourselves, we accept others. We do not simply embrace one label or idea of who we are or should be, we embrace everything as it is. As we learn to love our authentic selves, we are released from our self-imposed bondage to love others, too. Where before we inhabited small stories from our attempts at control, we instead let go of what we can't control and put our efforts into living a great story. We write and live our story from a generative space of love and belonging--even if the love and belonging we feel is given by us and not by others. As we do so, we embody the very values we hoped to live, we nourish our soul, our spirit, our body. We are freed to be generous in loving and nourishing others as well, no longer from a place of obligation but of inspiration.  

We resolve to be authentic, and so we evolve. 

We tend the inner flame of love in our own hearts and we shine. We share our wounds with generosity and redemptive purpose for others. We don't have our shit together, but we do own our shit. We accept and embrace the very face and nature of who we are even as we own our power to cultivate what we desire. We can hold space for others because we hold space for ourselves. We can love others because we give the love for ourselves we've always needed. We embark on a great journey and embody our full and highest self. We are present to our shining and shadow, and we do not fear contradiction so much as desire the unity that is only present in chaos. We are. I am. 

Embracing risk, embracing pain, embracing ourselves... Love is the space from which authenticity grows as well as the force authenticity fuels. 

Forget independence! Today, make a declaration of authenticity. 

Like the fireworks we'll see dance across the sky tonight, let your light sparkle and shine. Be not afraid to dazzle. Be not afraid of aloneness. Be joyful in a life fully and beautifully lived. 

Be true. Be you.

With love,

Ben