(Please read the last post to see the definition of Authentic Self and Ego Self: The Ego Self Puts Up Quite A Fight!)
Soooooooo.....this might be a bit of a disappointment (great start, I know) but the first step towards your Authentic Self is to simply acknowledge its existence.
I know. Sounds pretty obvious.
No big revelation, no big 'a-ha' moment when you read that, right? BUT!! This is a process and you need to take time with this whole thing - please read on!
What does acknowledging your Authentic Self entail, besides simply saying "I have an Authentic Self"?!
It entails a slight shift in perspective, and more attention to the description of yourself and/or your experiences. You will see what I mean with the following examples:
Example 1) a) When helping a neighbour you say to yourself: "That felt good, I am being a kind person".
b) When helping a neighbour you say to yourself: "That felt good, I am being my Authentic Self."
In sentence a), you are being kind through the action of helping. The act of helping makes you kind and once you label yourself as such you feel good.
In sentence b), your helping is just who you are. Simply being you feels good. The slight shift is that no label (kind, nice, thoughtful) is needed. Just You :)
You are kindness itself. It is subtle, but there is definitely a different energy there, right?
You are sitting by the river and watching a beautiful sunset and you say to yourself: "Wow, that sunset is glorious, I love how this moment is making me feel so peaceful, I need to do this more often."
In this scenario, you are saying that the sunset by the river is making you feel peaceful.
The shift in perspective would be to recognize that YOU, your Authentic Self is the feeling of peace.
It is inside YOU. You are tapping into your Authentic Self.
You aren't 'busy' in thoughts about the past or future, worrying that you are wasting time, should be somewhere else, etc. (Ego self stuff!)
YOU are the feeling of peace.
The scenery can change. It could be you in a comfy chair by a fire, it could be you walking along the beach, it could be you sitting with your dog on the porch on a warm day.....the peaceful feeling is YOU: Your Authentic Self.
Same thing when you are brought to tears by a piece of music, poetry, art, prose.
You say: "Wow, that was incredible, it really moved me".
Again, it wasn't the piece of art, it was your Authentic Self shining through! That particular piece may not move me the way it does you. And something that brings me to tears may not do the same for you.
The object isn't the source, your Authentic Self is.
I hope this is starting to make you nod your head a bit ;)
For sure, it's easier to see your Authentic Self when things are joyful or peaceful.
But, your Authentic Self needs to be acknowledged when the "negative" emotions come up too. (by the way, your perspective on these being "negative" will shift soon).
When you are devastated by something painful, your Ego Self will do its best to stifle your Authentic Self.
The Ego Self does this to try and protect you from pain, but your Authentic Self is acutely aware of your need to express your pain.
The crumbling feeling as you break down into tears is you acknowledging your Authentic Self.
Allowing pain in, and being with it, is your Authentic Self showing up to work through it.
It's just that we are conditioned to believe that this is scary and we should avoid it.
Push it down.
Ignore it. Pretend it doesn't exist.
Protect ourselves from the pain.
It is important to see that your feeling of sadness from something that is sad needs to be felt.
Your Authentic Self is there for you. It will guide you to what you need: a friend or family member to sit with you, a quiet space to sob alone, maybe a run or walk, a hug, your dog's unconditional companionship, to write or talk about it, a drive with the music blaring.....so many possibilities, and all acknowledge the pain and your Authentic Self being there to express it. And no time limit. No 'You should be over this by now" According to who (or is it whom?!)?
Only your Authentic Self will know what you need to get you through, and how long that will take.
The confusion starts when the Ego Self tries to stop your Authentic Self from showing up, well, authentically. You authentically feel pain/sadness/despair/disappointment but you start the: "Suck it up" or, "It's that person's fault this happened", or "Life is too hard, you better stop caring", or "This always happens to me, I am such a failure" talk to hide your authenticity. Because we are conditioned to avoid it at all costs. We are conditioned to hide our authenticity when it is seen as "negative".
Then, your authentic pain will get confused and intertwined with anger, fear, bitterness, resentment, guilt, blame, hatred.
These are not Authentic Self things! These are Ego Self things.
They are created to provide a story for you. A story to try and help you "deal with" the pain.
Then, you are out of alignment with your Authentic Self and headfirst in Ego Self.
The work is to acknowledge your Authentic Self as you feel the sadness.
The work is to shift your perspective of sadness from it being something to avoid as much as possible to it being a beautiful expression of your Authentic Self.
That is fucking hard, slow work. So let's give you some time to get used to it, shall we?
I would like you to consider this shift in perspective the next time you feel sadness or hurt feelings. Just start with considering.
Consider the pain as your Authentic Self expressing itself, rather than something to stop.
Try not to over think/over analyze the situation itself.
Simply say to yourself: "Sadness is here, that is why I am feeling sad."
Then, let your Authentic Self express it for you (cry) and also listen to what it is telling you.
Let it guide you.
If it says: "Hey, pour yourself a cup of tea and turn on Netflix"....do it. Don't overthink it, judge yourself, try and talk yourself out of it.
If you are doing this in the space of authenticity, you aren't avoiding/distracting. You are doing what will help. You may end up crying the whole time, and that's okay!
Maybe it will tell you to call a good friend and share....do it! Don't overthink it, worry that you might look weak or that you might be bothering them. You may end up crying the whole time here too, and that's okay!
You get where I am going.
Don't let your Ego Self create a story to try and confuse and cloud your authenticity.
The Ego self is just trying to help, but your Authentic Self is where its at.
More steps coming soon.
GO FORTH AND ACKNOWLEDGE!!!