by guest contributor Larry James
Dr. Hammerschlag's quote about sums it up, right? Are you talking the talk and not walking the walk? Are you experiencing the same problems in your relationship that you had last year? Are you living your relationship as an example you would want others to emulate? Are you living in sync with your own values and principles? When you're not authentic, who are you?
Being authentic is the key to truly happy, healthy relationships. It is not possible to be happy without being true to yourself.
Being authentic is being genuine. Being genuine is being true to the commitments you have made to each other. It means standing up for what is real. None of the fake persona we often see. The temptation to be fake, phony, or misleading is centered on the desire to feel smart, important, or better than someone else. That is your ego speaking. Shed those pretences. Not being authentic demands a lot of misguided energy. Being authentic is easy. It's being fake that is difficult.
I'm certain that you know you can fool some of the people some of the time (even yourself), but not all of the people all of the time. Authenticity reduces phoniness to nothing.
It seems to me that being authentic begins with being true to yourself. It's knowing that deep within, you know beyond a doubt that who you are is the real you. When you live an authentic life, you are living a life that resonates with your inner being, free from relationships that limit possibilities. Living authentically means to be happy with who you are, as you are. Living with authenticity is a journey that will lead you to your incredible self.
Carol Adrienne, Ph.D., says, "The voice of the authentic self seems to be the same as the intuitive voice, that quiet, but persistent voice that whispers new ideas to us in the middle of the night, on vacation, or after meditating. Intuition speaks in short; clear messages that are qualitatively different from the repetitive mind chatter that makes us feel anxious. Intuition tells us where the authentic choice is - for us."
The truth is, most people are intuitive and can feel when something is not right. They know when you are not being honest with them or yourself.
Shakespeare gave us this ethical principle: "This above all - to thine own self be true." It's practicing greatness - even when no one else is watching. We must learn to live in a way that expresses our real desires, principles and demonstrates our character. When our behavior doesn't match our values, we are not living authentically.
Demonstrating authenticity in your relationship is a prerequisite to having a healthy relationship. It certainly helps if you have a specific intention to be that way.
The great thing about authenticity is that it releases you from the requirement to be perfect. No one is perfect. Just be your own good self.
Authenticity is only one piece of the relationship puzzle. And it is an important piece. Strive to be honest in the sense of allowing your behavior and conversation to be a true and spontaneous expression of your inner feelings.
Being authentic is to be able to live with your guard down; to be vulnerable; to be able to be yourself, not someone that someone else thinks you should be.
Being authentic requires a balance between being forthright and gaining the interpersonal skillfulness that allows you to be more sensitive and caring to your partner. It means that what you say, what you mean, what you intend, and what you do, are all in alignment and You are worthy of trust and belief. Authenticity means that you are living with integrity, and aspiring to all the wonderful joys life has to offer and doing it with a peaceful heart.
Only when you have evolved into clarity and authenticity by resolving the conflicts, confusion, and self-doubt within, will you be accepted, respected and listened to by your partner. There is great power in being an example of authenticity to your partner.
Being authentic can be defined as unquestionable congruent living - the moment-to-moment alignment of your sincere thoughts, values, emotions and actions. - Anisa Aven
Perhaps your relationship would be much better if you spend less time trying to convince yourself that you are being authentic and more time demonstrating authenticity to your partner. The truth of who you are must be lived not just believed. Once these truths are discovered, you must bring them to life by living them through conscious action. It is through action not thought that you become authentic. Intention to be authentic is great however your actions always speak louder than your words.
The truth is you cannot not be authentic. Even a counterfeit one hundred dollar bill is a genuine counterfeit bill - it is what it is, a very real counterfeit one hundred dollar bill. You have your own personality. Be that. Be authentic. You are what you are doing.
Copyright © 2015 - Larry James. Reprinted with permission. - This article is adapted from Larry's books, "How to
Really Love the One You're With: Affirmative Guidelines for a Healthy Love Relationship," "LoveNotes for Lovers:
Words That Make Music for Two Hearts Dancing" and "Red Hot LoveNotes for Lovers." Author Larry James presents
seminars nationally for singles and couples. Subscribe to Larry's FREE monthly
"LoveNotes for Lovers" eZINE.
Contact: CelebrateLove.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695.
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"Tiger and Lion" photo courtesy of Albumarium, under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 license.