The grey area of authenticity

Authenticity is a very important value. I think it is because if you are not authentic, then people cannot help you since they do not interact with you, but with a false image. Yet this is an assumption that is only beneficial if people are good-natured towards you. As a small child, you do not have control over the people that you have to associate with. You cannot choose your parents, and you cannot survive without them. To eat and not die of exposure you have to live up to a bare minimum standard, as decided by your parents.

If you are unlucky and have abusive or otherwise life-draining parents then you cannot be authentic. Your death might result from rubbing them the wrong way. I do not condone parents that would abuse, harm or reject their children. But such parents do exist.

So in the unlikely event that a small child stumbles across personal development literature that encourages them to live authentically and even more unlikely that the child will comprehend the literature, it might actually not be a good idea for the child to follow that advice.

Babies are completely authentic. We start life authentically and later lose it as a result of our conditioning. We are also born with a full range of motion in our joints and muscles, yet few adults today possess the necessary flexibility and strength to play as a child does.

Our childhood conditioning splits our mind into pieces. We have our own innate desires, and then a part that seeks to prevent us from harm through punishment or rejection. This part tells lies and prevents us from admitting to ourselves what we want. We can fool ourselves into believing that we do not want something that is unattainable. We think that we avoid pain, yet I would argue that we cause more pain to ourselves by never reaching for something than reaching and falling short.
The circumstances that necessitated our protection-mechanisms and splitting of our identity are usually removed in adulthood, yet our conditioning remains. As adults we will not die if one specific person does not accept us or approve of our actions. We have to deliberately unlearn the behaviours that were necessary in childhood.

If we do then once again with childlike excitement and joy can we pursue our desires without deceit or seeking permission. We will also cry when we fail, but brush off the tears and carry on.

There is a gray area in the teenage/adolescent years where our independence is being formed. Once we are independent we do not have to conform. Before we are independent how we much we bend to other’s rules is a matter of fine judgment. If we predict that our parents will not cut off our means of support and we express ourselves authentically, a huge step of integration will be possible. If our prediction was inaccurate we would have to scramble to find a method of support.

In most cases it is a gradual process. A lot of different lies first have to be disproved and removed from our mental models. The process can take a lifetime and most people never complete it. Each step of the way brings greater clarity and internal peace.

Methods to speed up the process: Leftkoe method, nlp parts integration, etc

To happiness, and beyond!


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