Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Niceness vs. Authenticity

“When there is nothing about you or anyone else that you are afraid to look at, 
the darkness has no more power over you”.

Paul Ferrini (Everyday Wisdom).

Arwen Barr 2012

How do we address the unease that arises when we feel deep dislike for certain kinds of people? Perhaps we don’t even know them, but we feel anger and hostility coming off them in waves and our usual ways of coping just don’t apply.

Most of us know the discomfort we feel when another person seems aloof, self centered and sometimes mean or vindictive. No matter how friendly we are they remain unaffected. Our niceness just doesn't cut it.

This brings the issue of authenticity clearly into focus. Are we remaining true to ourselves or projecting our own unhealed parts onto the person and acting as if it were true? There is difference. The coldness we experience just might be an aspect of a frozen part of our own psyche.

Deep down we feel cut off from our One-ness with others and ourselves and the feeling of self-betrayal leaves us feeling helpless and angry. Just how did we get off track anyway? One solution is to sit with the unease and notice what it is triggering within us.

As Annie notes: “We welcome back that part … that believes it made a big mistake, is cut off from love, and deserves to be punished.  Our role is to see it, acknowledge it, listen to it, soften towards it, open to joining with it, offer to feel it fully, and embrace it as we would a long-lost best friend.   And in this willingness to surrender resistance, this opening to unconditional love, we invite and patiently await the voice of authenticity to guide our insights and actions.”

Yes, it’s a tall order to admit that our dislikes of others stem from our dislike of aspects of ourselves. We turn the hour-glass over and acknowledge that we must be willing to give up every strategy we think might make us popular, likeable, or socially acceptable and toss niceness out with the rest of the illusions.

It is only by embracing our wholeness that we can feel our True Self beckoning. In sitting with our authenticity we may decide to walk away and be unconcerned about the outcome of the situation. We may feel the need to speak out. Either way, the choice that leaves us feeling authentic is the one that moves away from the turmoil of the ‘shoulds’ and towards a deeper sense of satisfaction and inner peace.