Over the last few months I have been on my own quest, to cease chasing the big yellow taxi because I had fallen into the habit of not appreciating what I have had until it was gone (aka Joni Mitchell). This quest led to the only New Year’s resolution that I made to myself this year and that was to be authentic in all that I do, and with all the people in my life.
For me, this has meant really embracing the moment, and having my conscious self come to terms with the world in which I live. This is not always easy, especially when I encounter negative external forces, such as the School Junta, with its attendant pressures and influences, and to be honest these forces were not always originating directly from the Junta, but usually were.
However, I have slowly come to realise that the degree to which I am true to my own personality, spirit, and character, despite these assorted pressures, the more content, tranquil and resilient I have become.
The depth of my tranquillity has been the most astounding benefit I have received.. My attempt to live my life according to the needs of my own inner being, rather than the demands of my society, or my early conditioning by an anxious mother and the Sisters of No Mercy, has meant that I no longer struggle with the pressure to appear to be a certain kind of person, the pressure to adopt a particular mode of living, the pressure to ignore my own moral and aesthetic objections in order to have what I thought would be a more comfortable existence. This has led to an overwhelming sense of tranquillity that I have never experienced at any time in my life.
Now, through my commitment to be authentic in all the areas of my life, I am freed from behaving inauthentically towards my own desires, and no longer obscure the true reasons for acting.
The level of tranquillity I now experience gifts me quiet repose and a once troubled disposition more free from stress and negative emotion than ever before. I have accessed a state of peace and quiet that has expanded not only my life, but I think my horizons as well.
I have to work at maintaining this untroubled state, and I admit that there are times, in every day, when it is impossible to be free from disturbance. Also as Cummings wrote, it takes courage to grow up and become who you really are. However, I have discovered that approaching each moment with authenticity means that I can finish each day in a more tranquil state of mind.
Now, each day I remind myself that there is only one life for me to lead – my own. My commitment to authenticity has been my own amazing liberator.