Moving Toward Authenticity

In her book, “The Language of Light,” author Meg Waite Clayton tells the story of a woman who has to redefine her identity after her husband’s death. As the story progresses, the main character, Nelly, realizes how many times she has let others define her.

“Others love the ‘me’ they want me to be. Have I spent my life trying to be the person others wanted me to be?”

For many women, authenticity seems like an ephemeral quality – something that once existed when they were children, but is no longer possible. Women are so busy taking care of others and trying to please others – they no longer know who they are.

Women have forgotten how to dream and how to truly live within their authentic selves. They have lived their lives trying to be what someone else wants them to be.woman graphic

Ask a woman to list the dreams she has for her children and she will come up with a long list. Ask the same woman to list her own dreams and she’ll think about it for a while – then come up with only a couple of possibilities.

The authentic woman understands her strengths and giftings. She lives in hope that she will indeed accomplish the desires and dreams of her life – within the appropriate time. She saves time for herself because she knows how important she is and how much value she can add to her family, her community and her world when she is healthy.

Without authenticity, the very soul of a woman lives in pain. She exists from day to day, just trying to survive. She has forgotten how to hope and her only dream is to just stay alive until she can raise her kids and/or finish her work day.

She lives minute by minute because that’s all she can guarantee.

To live as an authentic woman, she first needs to recognize and embrace her strengths. God has gifted her with certain talents and abilities so that she can bear His image in her world and make a difference.

Then, she needs to identify the desires of her heart because these often remind her of her first dreams. Her desires also came from God and finding those again will give her a sense of purpose as she works toward seeing them fulfilled.

She can learn to not let the circumstances of life define her. She has a God-given purpose that gives definition to her very life and helps her deal with the events of day-to-day living.

T.S. Eliot wrote:
“We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.”

The authentic woman knows who she is. She lives with confidence because she’s not trying to be someone else’s version of herself. And she makes vital contributions to her world – as the authentic and wonderful person she is.

2013 GateWay of Hope Ministries