“Our deepest calling is to grow into our own authentic self-hood, whether or not it conforms to some image of who we ought to be. As we do so, we will not only find the joy that every human being seeks–we will also find our path of authentic service in the world.” ~ Parker J. Palmer, Let Your Life Speak …
Our self-hood is our unique identity in life. And contrary to what we often hear, growing in our own authentic self-hood is not selfish; it is required of us if we wish to live fulfilling lives–to experience all that we can of life, to give to others to the best of our abilities, to realize our true potential, and to add our own unique beauty to this world. Living our self-hood is the one true calling that will lead us down the path towards wholeness and fulfillment in life. And if we ignore, abandon, or wander off the path that leads us towards this vocation, we will find ourselves, lost, incomplete, and still searching for a joy that can only be found in living out what we were called here to do.
What is “our own authentic self-hood,” and where can we find it? As a child, I remember being told that I ought to want to grow up to be something. Many of us thought we wanted to become a pilot, a priest or pastor, a professional athlete, a military officer, a doctor etc –it is actually quite simple for us to imagine an individual identity for ourselves. But once we begin journeying down the path towards becoming the person we have idealized, how often do we stop to ask ourselves if this is our true authentic self that we are seeking?
My authenticity will always allow me to be whole and complete, no matter how I choose to serve others. And when I come to serve from the depths of my heart, and not merely out of a sense of duty or obligation, I will discover true joy, purpose, and fulfillment in life.
Be authentic as you follow your calling in life.
Questions to consider:
Has anyone every shown you how to pursue your own authentic selfhood?
What is your “path of authentic service in the world?”
Has your ideal self ever contradicted your authentic self? What might this mean?
For further thought:
“Vulnerability becomes the door to intimacy, to being ourselves, to being real, to being where we are. But for that to happen, we have to be willing to be vulnerable to what is. Being vulnerable means that our soul is open for things to arise in it. It is not defended.” ~ A.H. Almaas