Hiding in Plain View

Where are you? Yes, I want you to locate yourself - your real and authentic self. Are you living your life as you or as someone you believe the world wants to see? When we look at you, talk with you or, work with you, who is it that we experience? Are we exposed to you or a manufactured version of you? We always long to be known - to be truly and fully known. We want to be loved and appreciated for who we are and not idealistic versions of ourselves.

Living an authentic life is a prerequisite to finding and experiencing true love and building strong and lasting relationships. When we hide, we limit ourselves and our lives. We give less to the people around us and the world at large. We never truly become all that we can be. An authentic life is always about continuous growth and improvement; it is never about being perfect. When we are fake, no one wins.

Unfortunately, we all hide because of things that have happened in our past, errors that we've made or atrocities committed against us. But we've all made mistakes and experienced suffering in one form or another. It's the things that we go through and failures that we endure that makes us strong and prepares us for the road ahead. So, even if the world will want us to conceal our true selves because of less than favorable things that happened in the past; stuff we can never go back and correct, it's up to us to decide not to waste any time such endeavors. It's a choice that we must make everyday to face the world exactly as we are.

It is important to know that living as who we truly are does not mean telling everyone our personal business but it's about having a few people in our lives that we can trust; people we can be really honest with. It's about being able to set aside the masks we wear to protect us from the world from time to time, so people can get to know us and love us just as we are. We can be free to expose the flaws in our character without the fear of being judged and ostracized. Being real is about being comfortable with who we are and who were created to be and allowing others to be who they are, knowing we are all on a journey, all works in progress.

It takes real courage to live an authentic life. It takes audacity to live our lives in plain view without hiding and as May Sarton, the prolific American poet and novelist put it, "We have to dare to be ourselves, however frightening or strange that self may prove to be."

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