I began to write about authenticity and how we sometimes live split lives because of our political values or our inability to be genuine with people because our beliefs don’t match theirs. Or we can’t be honest with ourselves and admit who we really are and live a split life out of fear.
This all began because of something I read on Facebook.
I like Facebook in general because it helps me keep up with people, but many times I see people use Facebook to – as my Mother used to say “air their dirty laundry” and in general say things to other people they would never say to their face. Which is a strange techno-behavior that we’ve all been seeing trend upward since Al Gore invented the internet.
And that was where I started to think about authenticity. What came next though was what happens some days – I got a status update from David Whyte – which always brings a sense of future and freshness to my Facebook experience. Instead of people complaining about people on food stamps, I get a taste of future and freshness.
The Opening of Eyes
That day I saw beneath dark clouds,
the passing light over the water
and I heard the voice of the world speak out,
I knew then, as I had before,
life is no passing memory of what has been
nor the remaining pages in a great book
waiting to be read.
It is the opening of eyes long closed.
It is the vision of far off things
seen for the silence they hold.
It is the heart after years
of secret conversing,
speaking out loud in the clear air.
It is Moses in the desert
fallen to his knees before the lit bush.
It is the man throwing away his shoes
as if to enter heaven
and finding himself astonished,
opened at last,
fallen in love with solid ground.
From River Flow: New and Selected Poems. ©David Whyte
So I read this and thought to myself – that’s it – again authenticity. But it changed my view on writing about someone else and I returned to writing from my own experience.
For me, right now, I’m happier than I’ve ever been in life, that’s a scary thought. What if I’m never this happy again?! So, I feel myself clinging to these moments as if they could end tomorrow and what I know from being unhappy for a very long time, I did the same thing. During the unhappy moments – while I longed for better times, I clung to the bitterness, and the hurt, and the past, because it was what I knew. And I knew when it changed – things would be different and change is a terrible and awesome thing, but we don’t like it, because we don’t know what’s on the other side of where we are.
So what’s the point ?
I’ve seen happiness is a state of mind, it’s not money, it’s not politics, it’s not anything other than being open – as David Whyte says – it’s speaking out loud in the clear air – the secret conversations of your own heart. That’s pretty deep.
When you can finally admit to yourself and to everyone around you what your own secret longing is, no matter how foolish it might sound, that’s when you can be authentic, true, real, genuine.