#AtoZChallenge - A is for Awakening Authenticity

When Deborah Weber announced that she would be joining the Blogging from A to Z challenge in April by writing 26 alphabetical manifestos, I was intrigued. I like challenges, I like alphabetical challenges, I like having a reason to write and to dig deep into my mind and heart for words. What to write about? As my theme, I've chosen the stated purpose of my work in the world. 

Awakening Authenticity

(and conveniently, I have double letter A's to start with!)

Authenticity is one of my guiding principles. More than anything, I need to feel that I am being true to myself with the choices that I make. Doing anything for any other reason feels fake to me. It is important that I seek and find authenticity as my motivation. 

This probably explains much of my growing up years, my school years. I wasn't so self aware then to know how important authenticity was to me but I knew very clearly what parts of my education were just playing a part and checking off boxes. Most of those years were just me going through the motions. School was a game. I worked three jobs and shopped and partied the rest of the time. Honestly, I left no time to examine my life. What eighteen year old does?

During those tumultuous teen years when most young women lose their identity, I did as well. With authenticity being such an important factor in my life, losing myself threw me off the rails in a big way. I blindly and numbly looked for my identity and purpose elsewhere. It was always something else ... men, alcohol, husband, children, church, god, homeschooling, homemaking. It took me decades to regain myself, to plant myself again deep into the knowing of me, to reclaim and proclaim who I am in the world. 

The lost years, the period of time that I didn't know myself, caused all manner of upheaval in my life. I went through the motions and I played the roles well. All of them were not entirely fake. Had I known myself, I would still have chosen some of those parts. But In the healing, in the finding the way, in the restoration, I struggled with it all. 

Now, my desire for myself and for the work that I do in the world, centers around authenticity. I must continue to uncover what that means for myself. I feel compelled also to encourage other women to release their own unique selves, to raise their howl. I believe the world has enough duplicates, mockingbirds, and empty spaces. I believe the world is longing for real. 

I have a story to tell. So do you. I want to hear your words. Please share in the comments.