You have to be true to yourself, but you have to be true to your best self, not to the self that secretly thinks you are better than other people.
– Stephen Gaskin
The biggest human temptation is to settle for too little.
– Thomas Merton
It doesn’t interest me what you do for a living. I want to know what you ache for and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart’s longing.
It doesn’t interest me how old you are. I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool for love, for your dream, for the adventure of being alive.
It doesn’t interest me what planets are squaring your moon. I want to know if you have touched the centre of your own sorrow, if you have been opened by life’s betrayals or have become shrivelled and closed from fear of further pain.
I want to know if you can sit with pain, mine or your own, without moving to hide it, or fade it, or fix it.
I want to know if you can be with joy, mine or your own; if you can dance with wildness and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your fingers and toes without cautioning us to be careful, be realistic, remember the limitations of being human.
It doesn’t interest me if the story you are telling me is true. I want to know if you can disappoint another to be true to yourself. If you can bear the accusation of betrayal and not betray your own soul. If you can be faithless and therefore trustworthy.
I want to know if you can see Beauty even when it is not pretty every day. And if you can source your own life from its presence.
I want to know if you can live with failure, yours and mine, and still stand at the edge of the lake and shout to the silver of the full moon, ‘Yes.’
It doesn’t interest me to know where you live or how much money you have. I want to know if you can get up after the night of grief and despair, weary and bruised to the bone and do what needs to be done to feed the children.
It doesn’t interest me who you know or how you came to be here. I want to know if you will stand in the centre of the fire with me and not shrink back.
It doesn’t interest me where or what or with whom you have studied. I want to know what sustains you from the inside when all else falls away.
I want to know if you can be alone with yourself and if you truly like the company you keep in the empty moments.
– Oriah Mountain Dreamer
In the last analysis, the individual person is responsible for living his own life and for ‘finding himself.’ If he persists in shifting his responsibility to somebody else, he fails to find out the meaning of his own existence.
– Thomas Merton
When I saw (a few days ago) the film – “Always Be My Maybe” … I did not expect to write about it. But the theme of the story is (clearly) – authenticity.
[It’s a ‘Values Story’ … which holds up as its highest value – authenticity]
Actually, I don’t think I’ll say much more about this film … except that it’s a romantic comedy, and that it has a LOT of things going for it – humor, freshness, tension, humanity. (It’s definitely worth watching.)
One of my heroes is Oriah Mountain Dreamer. She is a great Champion of authenticity.
Please consider her book – “The Invitation” (ISBN – 0-06251584-5 )
Have you heard the music that no fingers enter into?
Far inside the house
Entangled music –
What is the sense of leaving your house?
Suppose you scrub your ethical skin
Until it shines,
But inside, there is no music,
Mohammed’s son pores over words,
And points out this
But if his chest is not soaked dark with love,
The yogi comes along in his famous orange.
But if inside he is colorless,
– Kabir (version – Robert Bly)
Too many people spend money they have not earned
to buy things they do not want
to impress people they do not like.
– Will Smith
This comment (by Will Smith … and also the other quotes) do a good job of explaining what authenticity is; and I don’t have much to add.
I will only say – that I am confident that authenticity is one of the (few) things worth striving for … as a Life Goal.
(It is certainly a better goal than Happiness. You should probably listen to what Emily Esfahani Smith has to say about it.)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iCvmsMzlF7o&t=96s (Vulnerability – Brene Brown)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y9Trdafp83U (There’s more to life than being happy – Emily Esfahani Smith)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zpj-Vt09TqE (Meryl Streep and Yo-Yo Ma)