Often in our desire to be authentic we access the negative side of ourselves.
Then we are not really being mean or unkind, we are simply being authentic.
Being authentic, most often, translates to “responding to life in the way I feel currently”
‘I don’t feel like’ is more than sufficient reason not to do something. At the same time ‘I feel like’ enables us to do whatever we want.
Animals are governed by their feelings. They will do, as they want, when they want, where they want.
Their desire to copulate, urinate, defecate (for example) has no restraint, and they behave exactly as they feel like.
The good thing about animals versus mankind is that animals have limited desire. Once their appetite is satisfied their desire ceases.
No animal kills for the fun of it, and no animal plans tomorrows breakfast while eating lunch.
Our feelings and desires are unlimited. Nothing created satiates us and we can constantly yearn for more. Even after our stomachs are full we can consciously vomit to make space to eat more.
We can drink till we don’t remember who we are and still want to drink more.
We can kill for the sake of killing. Hate without reason, dislike on a whim, and feel envious or jealous unceasingly.
When we act solely on our feelings we are being our authentic ANIMAL selves.
Yet unlike other animals we have ‘choice’ and ‘will’. And unlike other animals we can go against our nature without external compulsion.
Of our own accord, of our own will, we can choose to regulate a feeling or desire, and either completely discard it, or defer it for a later time.
The most basic form of raising kids is teaching them to exercise this self-control; teaching them to exercise WILL, over their desire or feeling.
With our bodily functions we generally don’t discard, but only defer our desires.
As we learnt with our body so this we attempt to do with our emotions too.
Learning to discard and overcome is the responsible way of growing up. Teaching someone how to not defer, but overcome, is what bringing up children should mean.
When we defer we continue to serve and act according to our feelings. As a result we will stop evolving and maturing as individuals.
Our nature is to evolve and mature; this is our authentic self.
To respond the same way I responded ten years ago, to feel the same way I used to feel twenty years ago, is our hypocritical, unauthentic nature.
We need to act not as we feel, but act as the identity we have chosen demands, and as the health of the relationship we are in requires.
When we relate with people based on our feelings we relegate them to being “objects”.
It causes us to say either “I don’t care for this individual any more” and break off completely, or to brand him negatively, and lesser than us, and tolerate him condescendingly.
When we relate with people based on our will we accord both them and ourselves with the authenticity of being “persons.”
Treating people as objects makes life easy. All our love needs only to be transactional – you do this for me, then I’ll do that for you, or else!
Treating yourself as a person means growing up, and treating everyone else as persons means evolving.
In this is leadership. In this is humanness. In this is authenticity.