Authenticity and happiness go hand in hand. When we are not authentic, we are not happy. I have witnessed firsthand a person not telling the truth about their pains and discomfort to their doctor because they were ashamed of having such pain or conditioned not to complain. Hence, unable to be genuine. I’ve seen the same person twist the truth just a little in other areas of life to avoid some discomfort. It’s not their fault. They were conditioned to think twisting the truth is beneficial to them. However, wrong view, that is.
Likewise, when we’re not happy, it is hard to be authentic. An unhappy mind is not a clear mind. It is filled with some negative mood as agitation, sadness, anger, boredom or envy. These negative qualities influence one’s discernment. Whatever they say is most likely biased and aimed at solving the problem of negative emotions. Without Mindful awareness and knowing how to deal with aversive thoughts and feelings, one cannot show up a genuine and authentic self.
We’ve experienced a recent era where individuals and collective minds felt divided, polarized, and many others confused about what to believe. Polarized sides believe what they think is true, authentic, and genuine. As Rumi, the great poet and philosopher, says, “Truth was a mirror that fell and broke into hundred pieces. Everyone took a piece of it and thought they have the truth.”
It’s important to pay attention that a broken piece of mirror, representing one’s truth, has the character of sharpness capable of cutting, harming oneself and others.
What Is Authenticity?
When we think of authenticity or authentic, we think of real, truthful, not a copy, to be trusted as real. Lacking falsehood or misrepresentation. This may be referred to documents such as deeds or certificates of authenticity – i.e., to authenticate an artwork or a precious item such as gold and alike. Authenticity in humans also refers to the level of purity and wholesomeness, human nature, and characteristics.
As a characteristic in human-beings, authenticity could be seen as truthfulness, communicating one’s mind. Not just one’s thoughts but to stay true to oneself, to one’s wants and needs. First, one must have a real sense of who one is. Furthermore, to be vulnerable and reveal one’s emotions of pain and sorrow or weaknesses and shortcomings. To say what one means and to mean what one says. In a way, that looking from the outside, people can verify that one’s actions, speech, and mindset are in alignment.
Mahatma Gandhi believed this alignment and harmony is happiness. He says, “Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.” Of course, authenticity and happiness are of the highest states of human experience and quality. Gandhi’s statement should not be interpreted as harmony between any action, speech, and mindset is happiness. I.e., an angry person’s mind can be filled with hate; expressing this hate and acting upon it would be in harmony, which may include some level of associated satisfaction as well. But is that happiness?
There may be a moment of relief or satisfaction. The fact is that reliable and lasting happiness cannot arise when harming and causing others pain. It’s without a doubt that most people who have sought revenge afterward don’t feel so good nor relieved. It also is a natural phenomenon that others who are harmed would eventually and consequentially take action and invoke some level of harm to the angry person. Thus, disturbing the momentary satisfaction, which was based on wrong understanding, to begin with. Therefore, wisdom, compassion, and a clear mind are a must in being happy and authentic.
Becoming authentic (pure, wholesome, genuine, compassionate, and wise) is a work of art, one that human beings should strive to cultivate. The ego’s limitations do not hinder a fully developed authentic-self. A fully developed authentic-self is evolved with refined skills, compassion, and wisdom to express and live as one desires, without taking away or harming any being along the way.
“The privilege of a lifetime is to become who you truly are.” Carly Young
All of our thoughts, emotions, and actions are the product of learning and memory. We have and continue to learn through both external sources and inner-sources of reflection and deduction. Hence, authenticity and happiness are very much learned human qualities. That is great news.
The Question Is,
Does every human grow up to be who they really are? And who should or would they be? Is there a final “who we really are” state? Have you become who you really are?
It is not that simple. We, human beings, are complex and have complex minds, impacted by the limitations and strengths, by our bodies, perceptions, and emotions, by the ways our brains function, and the ways we were raised or conditioned. We were shaped differently if we were given the reins of our lives or prohibited from the freedom of being who we are. In every moment, our experiences shape how we perceive the world and how we respond to it. Hence, who we are can fluctuate from moment to moment and experience to experience. Who is to decide which version of us is really who we are?
Furthermore, as unenlightened human beings, we are bound to be impacted by fear, worry, greed, hatred, lack of understanding, and lack of self-awareness. As a social species, we are fully interconnected and interdependent on one another and the world around us. Therefore, merely being honest, say what we mean, express our emotions and desires, and be who we are may not necessarily lead to deep and lasting happiness. Who we are and who we become must-have real consideration for the happiness and well-being of other humans as well as other beings and non-beings.
Being authentic/happy takes an immense amount of inner-stability, skills, and qualities that need development. This is not difficult if one has the zeal to ripen these necessary skills.
MAGIC – Five Skills For Authenticity and Deep Lasting Happiness.
Mental purity (Distinguishing the ego from a pure-self)
Awareness (Seeing the truth with wisdom)
Genuine Desire for Happiness
Interdependence (The ultimate self-love & compassion for all)
Courage & Curiosity (To know your essence and become who you are)
In the words of EE. Cummings, “It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.”
Developing Skills That Create MAGIC
Every year, we start a whole new Beyond Mindfulness Series. This year we are focusing on how one may Cultivating an Authentic-Self Via the Seven Factors of Awakening. To cultivate and develop your authentic-self and optimize your sense of happiness, we invite you to join us. Explore and practice timeless, tried, and true wisdom teachings. Join others who attend with a genuine curiosity and desire for happiness. You may find the zeal to stay the course through the strength of others.
Here is the link: Cultivating An Authentic-Self Via The Seven Factors of Awakening.