They say, “Ain’t nothing in the whole wide world like a southern girl.” Well speaking as a southern woman, I have to agree we’re a different stock, a totally distinct band of womenfolk. A bit of sassy mannerisms, conflicting signals, unconventional qualities and independent streaks mixed together. We’re the bare feet and pearls go with anything kind of girls. Growing up in the South as a fishing, mud pies and dirt road kind of girl I found my place quickly. I grasped, discovered and learned from my tribe, my family, from those who surrounded my life, whether in church or around the dinner table to be authentic. What is an authentic life? Well, it’s about being true to yourself, not compromising who you are for the attention of the few. Most importantly, it’s knowing yourself, not the idea of who you think you should be.
We’ve all heard the saying, “Be an original, don’t die a copy.” Being authentic, being 100% yourself means nothing if you’re continuing to be a knockoff, a duplicate or reproduction of someone else. If we are going to live a life that’s 100% proof, then we have to be genuine, real, bona- fide, and true, legitimate, the real McCoy and the real thing. Laetitia Casta explains in her quote, “Real beauty is to be true to oneself. That's what makes me feel good.” See it’s being yourself ,you find true happiness. It’s not about being the best, one up or a forged copy of someone else that makes you unique. Nope, it’s about being sincere, genuine, real, unfeigned and heartfelt in all you do and in all you are. That means flaws, mistakes and all.
Life Lesson #51 ~Be Completely, Entirely, Downright, Fully and Authentically You! Everyone that knows the real me, knows I’m a downright goofy mess. I love life, to laugh, to feel, to embrace my passions, to live it fully and out loud . I completely appreciate every moment I’ve been given to be unapologetically me. I believe once you’ve stared death in the face, as I have done, life becomes more of a gift than you ever could imagine. Breast cancer, growing up with diabetes, living with auto immune diseases and yes through a small stroke did not change me, no my dance with the beast, with the devil,only fortified my love for life and for who I truly born to be.
Yep, I’m a nerd, I own that. It’s my superpower. I will talk geek to anyone willing to listen. My amazing hubby, the love of my life has to feel like a ping pong ball, with a headache to boot, as our boys and I go back and forth in deep comic book conversations. I have absolutely no fear of making silly faces, wearing Mickey Mouse ears, being seen in any cosplay that suits my fancy, dabbing with my kids in public or yes even having messy hair days. My laugh is more of a snort than anything else; I can go from jeans and a t shirt to heels and pearls in a blink of an eye. Give me a day of fishing or an afternoon at home heck even an evening out with friends and I’m still the same silly, goofy girl. I am me, or as my Granny used to call me, a silly Goose to be sure. I found out a long time ago, being authentic requires being comfortable in the skin you’re in. I have a fiery Irish side, a stubborn streak a mile wide but I’m not ashamed of who I have become, or of the scars that got me here. I simply love the life I have, I’m imperfect in so many ways, and yet I’m perfectly me. I have no shame in my enthusiasm, in the individuality of my soul, the zip of my eccentric spirit. I love where and from whom I come from.
Psalm 139:14a says to us, “Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex!” This should always be our mantra. We are beautifully and wondrously made. Absolutely, we’re complex. I know I sure am but that’s the magnificence of life! None of us, not even one should ever have to accept less than who we are. It’s a beautiful occurrence to influence and to be influenced by those we love, or even distain but we should never ever steal or have our souls stolen from us in the process.
Again, I say be authentic, loyal, faithful, constant, steadfast, true- unswerving, unwavering; trustworthy, reliable, dependable and "a true friend" to yourself. Don’t ever settle! As we say in the south, you’re finer than frog’s hair (that’s a compliment by the way). Simply, just be yourself, be the REAL you, not a carbon copy of an original. Be authentically quirky, beautiful and flawed. Just be the inspirational, unstoppable, brave, kind and fierce you, you were created to be. (Love pintrest). Never stop believing in yourself and remember this, “Be true to yourself, help others, make each day your masterpiece, make friendship a fine art, drink deeply from good books - especially the Bible, build a shelter against a rainy day, give thanks for your blessings and pray for guidance every day.” ~ John Wooden