Authenticity is the state of being completely and unapologetically yourself. All of us strive to find some sort of idea of who we are. However, how often do we find ourselves putting up a mask or acting in some way that is not true to who we are?
We all crave authenticity yet we live in a fake world. We desire to be authentic to who we are yet we are afraid of vulnerability and honesty. The world has placed a negative veil over the idea of authenticity and vulnerability. These things are painted as weaknesses and character flaws.
Everywhere we look we are encouraged to be something we are not, pretending our life is going perfectly and present ourselves to the world in a clean, composed way.
Life is not perfect, we are all beautiful masterpieces who live messy lives. That is the beauty of being alive. Nothing is clean and tidy. Nothing happens exactly as we plan. We cannot live life fully with a mask over our heart.
We are who we are. Unique and unlike anyone else in the entire world. That is our greatest strength and can sometimes be our biggest downfall. Because we are unlike anyone else it can be hard to feel accepted by the world.
However, being unique is normal. We have all been created differently. Why mask what makes us us?
We all have gifts and abilities special to us. We have something remarkable to give to the world and only we can give it. When we strive to be different than who we truly are we are telling ourselves we are unworthy of giving something new to the world. But we are not unworthy. We are just the person we need to be to give something to the world.
We live in an artificial world. People who are authentic are rare gems that shine so much brighter than the stones around them. Those who are authentic do not need to seek for outside approval because they know they are exactly who they need to be. They do not need to put on a front because they are comfortable with the fact that they are imperfect people on a journey of self discovery. They are simply themselves and that is enough.
Vulnerability is the first step towards authenticity.
We must realize that we can be ourselves and that it is okay to be different. When we stop acting like someone else and start acting like ourselves, it can be a scary process. Stepping away from our mask and being left with a completely blank slate with no examples is most likely why there are not more authentic people. Being authentic is terrifying, it takes courage. In the end, however, it is so worth it.
Being vulnerable removes the mask we are wearing and that leaves us open and raw. We find ourselves unsure of how to act or what to do. Spending so much time pretending to be who we are not can leave us without a sense of who we are. Vulnerability is a big step, one which you have to take.
Breaking open the mask we have worn for so long is the first step in becoming authentic. Only then can we have the joy of rediscovering ourselves. Take time to come back to who you are. Think freely, be yourself without regrets.
Build yourself into the person you have always wanted to be but were too scared to become. It may take days, months, or even years. But becoming you will be the greatest journey we can ever take. It will be a struggle, there will be times when it would be easier to slip on the mask of someone else. However, ease of life does not mean a love of life. True joy and happiness only come when we are true to ourselves.
We are unique, beautiful and talented. We are all one of a kind. The best decision anyone can ever make is to be authentically themselves. Vulnerability leads to authenticity which then leads us to a life full of magic.
You are the only you in the world, embrace that.
If you have different gifts than someone else, use it in such a way that only you can. If your art looks different than everyone else, realize the beauty in the fact that your process is uniquely yours. If your life is different than everyones, embrace it and live the way only you can life. If you are growing is a different directly than who you know, understand that your journey is tailored specifically to you.
If you are different than everyone else in the world, celebrate and be unapologetically yourself.
Shooting this image was a wonderful experience, the sun had just started to rise and fill the sky with pink hues. Dew still clung to the grass around me and dripped onto my dress when I pushed into the field.
One of my favorite parts about photography is doing the photoshoots. It is always incredible to see how they go, whether that be smoothly or a little bit chaotic. I watch myself slip into a character and become a different part of myself. Each character in every image I create it a part of myself. None of them are ever completely me while they are never completely a different person. They represent different emotions I’ve felt, stories I’ve connected to, and memories from my past.
Every image I create is part of me. My hope is that they can become a part of you as well.
Butterflies slip daintily into the air stretching the wings that had once been engulfed in darkness. Light finally touches them and finds its way into the soul that had been blocking it out for so long.