Someone recently spoke to me about their preference for people who are “authentic” ….
It prompted me to ponder on the word, and wonder … “What determines authenticity, anyway?”….
Here's what I think …
I think we're authentic to the degree that we're able to give our full attention to whatever it is we're doing right now – in this very moment.
… And I think that our ability to give full attention to the moment is determined by the amount of story about ourselves and the world that is currently running in our minds ….
The more story there is (such as, “I'm not good enough but I can never let them know…”, or “They're not good enough, but I'll be nice …”.), the more caught up in attempting to be some version of a “me” we are – for survival or approval, either one.
The less present we are the more likely we are to be reacting out of an inner notion of what we believe an acceptable self must be. We're no longer available for life in this moment.
How much time we spend “living a story” versus being simply present and engaged in the moment – responding to life as it presents itself – determines the degree to which we are viewed as genuine.
Authenticity absolutely resides in the NOW.
Having said that … I recognize, of course, that we all have our moments … of story … and of authenticity…. Times when we are responding to life in the moment and times when we're lost in a totally self-fabricated mental maze.
So I'm not sure I can judge anybody else's authenticity … when my own is so easily lost every time I sacrifice the moment for one of my made up stories.
Authenticity is not a state of arrival … it's a coming and going…. of presence….