Hard as Nails Ministries
Cultivate Authenticity

Cultivate Authenticity

By:  Lauren Rebello December 31, 2020
#AmazingNation, #Faith, #Leadership, #Strength , #Winning

What does it mean to fully cultivate authenticity? To be authentic, is not merely to just be another one in the world…rather, it is being one among many. That is why one who is authentic stands out among everyone else. To be authentic is to be the best version of what we are created to be, which is not playing someone else’s role, or trying to be something that we are not. When we constantly push to be someone that we were not created to be, we miss out on giving the world the fullest gift of our authentic self. Authenticity draws in the hearts of others. Other's want truth; they want a genuine heart. When they discover these characteristics in you, they will be even more drawn to the core of your being. They will be drawn in by who you are. When we are fully who God created us to be, it is in that moment that we are able to touch the lives of those around us in the deepest way possible. This inspires others enough, and they desire to know why you are so authentic and joyful. They seek the root of it. You challenge others to discover a deeper meaning and purpose of themselves and what it means to live authentically.

You Matter!
We need to understand that not only are we unique, but we are essential. The thought that your WHOLE life is essential is mind-blowing. The greatest moments down to the smallest of details; they all worked together to lead you somewhere; and not somewhere arbitrary, but exactly where you need to be in this moment. "Why is my whole life essential?" You might ask. Why? Because you are a part of a great story written by the creator of the universe; and he has chosen you to play a part in this chapter of the world that no one else can play as perfectly as you can.

We must grow in self-mastery in order to make ourselves the best version that we can be and to live out each day to the full.

“Growing in interior self-mastery and virtue is a prerequisite to being able to make a gift of ourselves in love and ensure justice for all. We’ll never have a just society if we don’t first have just and upright individuals” (Swafford 73).

How do we become this best version of ourselves? By growing in virtue, and actively seeking God, who is love itself; and in order to love ever more perfectly, we must encounter He who is love on a daily basis.

“Perfectionism doesn’t have much to do with sanctity” (Swafford 68).

Perfectionism, meaning being perfect and having no flaws. Saints know they have flaws. Yet, they work to transform their weaknesses, and put others before themselves. When we see ourselves as "perfect" we can become prideful, and lose sight of our weaknesses. When we see ourselves as always needing to be perfect, we can become scrupulous or be too hard on ourselves, missing learning opportunities from our failures. How do we transform our weaknesses? By recognizing where we fail, and practicing the corresponding virtue to that weakness. We often worry if we are enough, or if we will ever be enough. We must stop worrying about the way others might view us, and focus on loving those around us, living out our true identity.

“The person who is grateful and is finding their role in God’s plan tends to feel secure and confident, and therefore not as prone to envy. We need to actualize our fullest potential—not somebody else’s” (Swafford 76).

“Here we see that maintaining peace of mind and heart is not just about our own serenity and being able to deal with life: our peace of heart directly affects our ability to love. That is, our interior peace enables us to be more and more other-centered and available to those around us” (Swafford 62).

Our hearts rest and are at peace when our will is united with the will of the Father’s.

We have many desires to be good, to do good, to change things, or create things. But when do we put these thoughts, ideas, and motives into action? We need to look at our hearts and ask:

“What do I desire? And why? How do I want this to positively impact the world?” To “act” is a form of will. All actions come from the will, which stoop into the desires in our hearts. Courage brings our thoughts into execution. We must have “Confidence and conviction” (Swafford 65).

How to Live Authentically
The first step to living an authentic life with conviction and virtue begins with a choice. Our decisions about where we go, where we put ourselves, what we say, what we do, what we think affects those around us. It affects their own decisions, the way they view life, and even choices they make later on. We are constantly impacting. The impact of one person can change the lives of so many people in the world. People like Mother Teresa, one person, changed the lives of so many, and even continues to do so today. These types of people chose to bring beauty to the world. They chose to bring love to where it didn’t blossom, instead of turning away from the ugliness… where it needed to be planted. They chose to touch the lives that were unmoved, untouchable; the lives that had never seen beauty. They chose to be the beauty. To be the one. Every day we are faced with a choice: we can be just another one in the world… or we can be ONE among many. This isn’t something we just grow into, but rather, someone we form into. Someone we become. Not through wishing and hoping, but through activating and practicing. We simply cannot expect a change to enter into our lives if we aren’t willing to change the way that we are living.

Works Cited/Photo Credits:
Swafford, Andrew Dean. Spiritual Survival in the Modern World: Insights from C. S. Lewis's Screwtape Letters. Wipf Et Stock, 2016.
Bruno Gilli/ESO / CC BY (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0)

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