Wednesday, August 06, 2008

exhausting inauthenticity












The most exhausting thing you can do is to be inauthentic.

--Anne Morrow Lindburgh

Earlier today while looking for something else, I ran across the above quote. In my haste, I popped it into a post so as not to forget it or lose its source as I have been known to do. In the meantime, Tess in her infinite wisdom came along with a comment of her own which stirred me to think even more deeply about the exhaustion of inauthenticity.

Regular readers may have noticed that I have been away from the blog for several days and prior to that my posts (while very meaningful to me) were not from my own pen. Oddly enough it is not that I have not been writing. In fact, I have been quite prolific in my journals and my life continues to be one grand adventure after another. (Others might or might not agree with the "grandness" but then it's all in how you look at things, isn't it?)

So, what does all of this have to do with inauthenticity? Well, for some reason, I have been censoring myself and I am becoming more and more agitated by it. I am bursting at the seams with thoughts, emotions and feelings galore, but I keep putting a lid on them. And for those of you who read here often or know me personally, well... you know that is just not like me!! Thus comes the exhaustion. It is exhausting holding back all of this emotion!!

I have been searching out other ways to exhaust the emotion and have found some very fine ways indeed. Dynamic meditation. NIA. Walking. Talking. But, I have come to realize that nothing satisfies quite like putting pen to paper and then transposing it onto this blog where others can muse and ponder and possibly relate to what I have written. I have discovered that writing from the heart is a huge part of my authenticity.

So, now I feel a little better because I have at least written about holding back, but the holding back is still there. So, where is the balance between being too candid and risking living in inauthenticity? Joy is me. Grand adventures are me. Writing is me. Honesty is me. Compassion is me. Censorship & inauthenticity are not me!

So, do you ever experience those feelings of censorship? Where does inauthenticity enter your life? Do you hold back to try and avoid misinterpretation or judgment even when it comes from an authentic place? I would love to hear what you have to say!

15 comments:

Karen said...

This is embarrassing to admit (especially considering that I actually titled my blog, "Journey to Authenticity") but I've been feeling pretty inauthentic myself.

I don't know...I've been feeling all these feelings, and though I want to write/share them, I can't seem to do it. There's one topic in particular that I've been itching to write about, but I think I'm afraid to draw that line in the sand.

I don't know...I don't even know where I'm going with this. I don't want to be inauthentic, but is it always appropriate to share everything?

I'm still grappling with this--I have no answers...

lucy said...

karen--"is it always appropriate to share everything?" i would say absolutely not.

i love the wrestling you have presented here. i probably love it, because i can totally relate to it.

so, back to the original question...is the 'wrestling' leaving you exhausted like lindburgh suggests? and if you are "itching" to write about it...what holds you back? why are you afraid to 'draw that line in the sand'?

those are the questions i continue to ask myself. the wrestling feels quite authentic where avoidance does not.

thanks for the conversation!

(and i love the name of your blog. it is after all a JOURNEY!!!!)

Hope said...

I've definitely struggled with this on my blog. Once my sister and I got in a real fight - I hung up on her - after she left what I felt was a real judgemental comment on my blog. I am amazed at how fast I can shut down when I feel judged. I have often regretted giving her my blog address. Along with anyone else in my face to face life knowing it. I think I wouldn't ever censor myself if I was totally anonymous on my blog. Which brings up another question for me....why would I be more authentic anonymously than in my face to face relationships? I've thought that one over many times.

lucy said...

hope--you are playing my song! i have thought about moving to a totally anonymous blogspot, but i truly love those who come and comment here. it is the readers who choose to never comment that i wonder about and the judgment that comes out sideways...yep, that judgment thing will shut me down faster than just about anything else. it really is a sad thing when it is easier to be authentic with relative strangers over those we have known for significant periods of time! which reminds me that i am not particularly bothered by judgment from strangers, but from those i love. ouch!!

dirtydishes said...

Hey Lucy, Most people that I know don't even know what a blog is! but I am anonymous on mine and I do not use my real name. There are a very few who stop by there that do know me personally. The only time I find myself sensoring myself is when I feel like bitching about someone in particular(although I have done that). I try to keep on topic as to recovery and alcoholism, so I don't say anything on my blog that I would not say to a room full of recovering alcoholics. When I need to vent about a personal issue I do that in my journal, if that dosent help, I talk to my sponsor, if I end up doing step work to get through the issue, or however I end up getting through it,then I bring it to my blog and share it. I think there is fine line between sharing what is personal, and sharing what is and maybe should be private.
I too, have felt that maybe I should be a little more personal and then some sicko left 70 disgusting comments on my blog. It creeped me out some and made me rethink the whole blogging thing altogether, but I still here and I hope you will be too!

Sue said...

I often struggle with feeling inauthentic. I think sometimes I feel that way because I have this idea that I should be able to talk about everything, that anything I am hiding away is somehow not being true. But things need to hide away sometimes, from other eyes, even from ourselves.

I'm glad writing is authentic you. You're so good at it :)

Tess said...

Glad to see you back, Lucy, asking good questions as usual.
Like others here, few people that I know in real life know my blog address. I wouldn't want work colleagues knowing anything approximating the real me, for example. Which is why I don't use my surname in my blog.
(The other reason is that if you google my full name it comes up with the details of some porn addiction specialist!! Try it...)
I am quite choosy over what I write about. Although some stuff is quite personal I do draw a line, although I'd be hard put to define exactly where that line is.
I'm quite aware of entertainment value for my readers; I think there's a fine line (there's that line again!) between being completely honest and droning on - as I sure could do if I let myself!
Not sure that answers your question...

Anonymous said...

i do read here pretty often will try again to see if i can make leaving a comment work. your DID friend gets lost soemtimes figuring out how this all works!:)
i like your willingness to look at what it means and to whom we present our authenticity. with all happening with our daughter i find myself daily weighing who i will engage my struggles with and when is important to maintain boundaries. AND there is ALOT of me that comes at life from different ego states and my support base needs to be broad to and dafe.
hugs to you on this day.

Laure said...

wowie ... how much time do i have? i think i could very well go off for a spell just to collect some coherent thoughts on this subject. but what comes up in this immediate moment is the balance of authenticity and transparency in my life. being authentic does not mean giving away my oil to every tom, dick or harry. (or barbie, jane, and sally)

i am utterly authentic in taking my time to discern the appropriateness of how much information about myself to share, with whom, where and when. if i am editing what i share because i am being motivated by wisdom and the discernment process, that is a good thing. and i am not betraying myself in anyway. if, however, i am editing myself and presenting a false self in an effort to please others or engage others who would otherwise not be pleased or engaged ... well then that is a horse of another color altogether. then, yes i would consider myself as being inauthentic.

i am a highly, highly sensitive, intuitive and introverted gal. i love this about myself and have learned that this kind of self-love is all about honoring how i'm made by exercising some healthy, authentic restraint.

oh lucy, i could go on but, i won't. but i will continue to think some on this....

lucy said...

DD, sue, tess, anon & laure--

i wrote a wonderfully fabulous & thoughtful response (perhaps an exaggeration) to each of you and the computer crashed before publishing. aarrgghhh!! i hope it will suffice to say that i am glad each of you are here and i really appreciate your insightful and heartfelt responses!!

thank you. thank you. thank you.

Tess said...

No it doesn't suffice, I want you to spend ages re-creating your responses to each of us.
Kidding!

SUNRISE SISTER said...

Lucy - great questions - great comments. I find myself pretty authentic most of the time..... I think. I played a little trick on a new acquaintance last evening - I knew who he was, but he being in a totally new environment did not know who I was - "Quick," I said, as I jumped into his view. "I have no nametag so who am I," he laughed heartily and said, "I have no idea!" I immediately let him off the hook by self-intro. Poor thing he will no doubt know me for a long time and have to put up with my sense of humor and highjenks.

As I reflected later on my teeny joke with him, I recall feeling a bit "tipsy" in the fun of it - something I might do after a glass or two of wine - though the authentic deal of that is, I did it w/o the wine excuse. I authentically love the attention-getting method of doing something a little outside the box to get to know folks - I think that's allowing myself to be authentic in new relationships......which is just one place in a gillion (or is that jillion?) that we rely or not on our authenticity. Wow, a ramble....I loved everyone's comments here today!



xoxo

Gabrielle said...

This is a subject that really intrigues me, and one I find myself thinking about more and more over the years. Not so much in terms of blogging, or in day-to-day chitchat with people, because I think we do have to keep discernment in mind (I'm sure we've all been on the listening end of many conversations with personal info we really didn't "need to hear"), but I struggle with being what I would consider inauthentic partly because life is so compartmentalized. Certain parts of you reveal themselves at work, many parts at home, certain parts with some friends but not others, etc. Is there really anyone we can share our whole authentic self with? Probably not, but I understand exactly what you mean by inauthenticity being exhausting. Even just with family, I can't help but feel that being my authentic self would cause many changes that may not be appreciated. Maybe sometimes we keep our authentic selves unexpressed because we think there is no way they can flourish in our particular environment.

lucy said...

SS--so sorry this comment got buried in my inbox for awhile. i absolutely love your sense of play. i can relate to the feeling of "tipsy" when doing something that feels so authentic to my soul. in fact, i have been accused by others of in reality being tipsy when i break into laughter and seem a bit giddy. this usually happens when i am surrounded by people i love and feel comfortable with, but may also coincide with having a glass of wine in my hand. the "tippsiness", however, had nothing to do with the alcohol.

just last week i was with a group of soul friends and as i stood in front of one of them, we both burst into full body laughter soon the entire room joined into the contagion.

all of this to say...i loved your "ramble". as you can see, it prompted one of my own. i fully believe JOY is contagious!!! thanks for sharing some of yours. Joy cannot be faked. It is one of the most authentic expressions there is!!! Wishing you joy today!

oxoxooxoxoxo

lucy said...

gabrielle--i really appreciate your thoughtful comment and relate as you cannot imagine to most of it!! i do think there is discernment involved in with who and what we share. i think the exhaustion is very likely an indicator that something needs to change. maybe it is how we respond. perhaps it is who we surround ourselves with. the only thing i can change is me and darn that is a hard thing to do (& remember) sometimes!!!

wishing you well on your little blogging break!