How to Connect With Your Authentic Self

Finally making yourself a priority.

Posted Oct 26, 2017

Pexels photo
Source: Pexels photo

“You know, sometimes all you need is twenty seconds of insane courage. Just literally twenty seconds of just embarrassing bravery. And I promise you, something great will come of it.” – Benjamin Mee

There’s an interesting independent film in which the main character is literally sleeping under a pile of garbage. It becomes clear in the film that the garbage is a metaphor for all the rubbish people have dumped on her over the years, which holds her back from living her life. In her sleeping state, the woman seems oddly cozy sleeping in trash.

Throughout the film, she is given several opportunities to break free of the pile of rubbish, but she chooses not to. She stays in the dump filled with the garbage of people telling her she’s not good enough; making her feel bad about how she looks; taking away things she used to enjoy; leading her to believe she has no potential.

The main character in the film started internalizing garbage messages and beliefs as a child and never fought back or stood up for herself. The ending scene shows her under the pile of rubbish in the middle of a stream. She finally sits up and rapidly pulls apart the pile of trash, allowing it to wash downstream. With the rubbish finally gone, she is able to stand up and cross the stream without any difficulty. As she walks through the forest she sees other women who represent her potential. She accepts them and then walks away into her future.

It’s clear to viewers of the film that the main character was asleep under a pile of garbage; however, during most of the film, she was oblivious to the filth piled on top of her. This made me think about how many of us choose to stay asleep even when we are uncomfortable. We sometimes prefer to sleep than truly face the reality of our lives. I think it’s time we wake ourselves up, drag ourselves out of bed, and let go of the piles of garbage that tells us we can’t do it! Our lives are just too much of a gift to put off any longer.

Connecting With Your Authentic Self

For more than fifteen years I wanted to write and teach. I had known that for most my life; however, it took me many years to admit it to myself. I followed a few roads that didn’t lead anywhere, thinking that one day—when I was ready and everything was perfectly aligned—I would make this dream come true.

I was well aware of all the issues holding me back: lack of confidence; extreme shyness; the urgency of family matters; excessive preoccupation with helping others; not enough of this, that, or the other. I had a laundry list of what seemed to be logical excuses and reasons why I couldn’t possibly follow my potential.

However, I knew there was a small inner voice tugging at me like a child tugs on your leg over and over again to get your attention. I ignored it for a while, at my own expense, but one day I knew I couldn’t continue to sell myself out anymore. I was aware that any time we do things that don’t connect with our potential, we’re really just going through the motions. And what’s the point of being alive if you’re just going through the motions?

The short film I referred to earlier is called “Every Little Thing;” it’s a metaphor for how some people experience their lives asleep because they aren’t connecting with their authentic selves. For many years I was asleep too—stuck in a dream in which I was a servant trying to please others and satisfy their demands of me. I wasn’t living to my potential when I finally decided to wake up and make myself a priority. That’s when my life started.

How about you? What is holding you back from living out your authentic life?