When the authenticity conversation first came our way, many of us were raising our hands and murmuring, amen. Our trusty bullshit meters promptly sounded whenever someone was posing or hiding something, and we hated that. "Don't be a fake" could have been an early slogan, or "Give it to me straight." Hell yeah, authenTIcity, man.
At first, we want to be given something real or true. But the conversation doesn't have to sit with us for long before we inevitably turn the lens on ourselves. We want to be authentic--we don't want to be a faker or a poser or someone who ever sets off the bullshit meters of others. We want to know who we really are, we want to give ourselves permission to be that Real Person in the world, but this is the very point on which we so often get stuck:
Which one is the real me? Is it my private self or my public persona? Is it the way I am with my parents, or is it the way I am with my partner? Is it only the way I am when I'm alone? Is it the self I was 5 years ago, or the self I am today? Or what about the self I'm aspiring to become--doesn't she count for something?
We are a bag of endlessly differentiated parts.
We are complex. We live in a modern cafeteria of contexts, with modern technology gradually erasing the physical divides between work space and home space, between personal time and professional time. Instead of switching hats throughout the day, we're more likely to stack them on our heads all at once.
Many of us share the desire for authenticity, but we haven't always been given a lot of access points into it. There aren't a lot of clear roadmaps for how to take each part and to understand and experience how it relates to all the other parts. How they all belong. How they can ever form something even resembling an authentic sense of self.
This is where the integration conversation comes in. It addresses what to do with the bag of parts. It leads us into a place where the parts become a whole. And from that place, we can experience a revelation in what it means to be true.
Click through for updated details about the Integrate in the Rockies Retreat this fall.