A few weeks ago I woke up with a burning desire to paint my wall. Or, to paint on my wall. I needed to paint something big and bold and blue on my wall -- something I wouldn't forget. So I wrote these words:
I painted them on the wall by the window, right above my writing desk/art studio. The sun shines through midmorning, illuminating the words in a dazzling sort of way. They remind me of the way I want to be, of the life I want to live.
How can I be fearlessly authentic?
I look at these words each day, and wonder. And as I wonder, I pray. Oh God, make me authentic. I don't want to be fake. I want to be real, and authentic, and brave.
There's something so terrifying about baring our souls to someone else. To look at another human being, arms spread wide and open, saying, "Here I am. No layers, no skin. Just me and my soul, here in front of you."
Vulnerability and authenticity takes courage. To be fearlessly authentic is to be open, is to be alive.
I wonder what our world would look like if every human woke up and got dressed, and instead of adding layers and masks, we shed them. Completely. Authenticity is raw -- and the truth is, I think we're scared of raw. We don't know what to say to raw. We don't know how to act around raw. Sometimes raw keeps us on the phone longer than we want to talk. Sometimes raw weeps in front of us, clutching our hands, our arms, our chests -- desperate for anything to hold onto. Sometimes raw includes long drives at one in the morning, and two cups of cheap, crappy gas station coffee, and the promise that hope hasn't gone anywhere. Raw isn't comfortable. And then again, neither is bravery.
Let's be fearlessly authentic. Comfortable or not. Toss the presumptions out the window. Fearlessly authentic, you and me.