The authentic self is something different to each of us. I have heard it described in terms of finding God, or accepting Jesus. I have heard it described as understanding and accepting yourself. Finding what really matters to you and developing your passion or finding your true path. Many different roads lead to the same place and no one particular road is right for everyone. The one thing all the paths seem to lead to are peace and harmony within the heart of the person. This landing place is full of compassion, empathy, and an overall sense of well being.
The direction I have taken is learning. In some ways, I believe that once we develop a passion for learning we set ourselves upon our path. After a while, everything seems to interest, life is rewarding, and our mind and heart begin to open. As I learned about various issues, I began to understand and accept myself. I started to find the best parts of me, and recognize that these pieces of me were always there.
Once we find our authentic selves or add your own label, the meaning of life transforms into something that is difficult to put into words. We begin to understand and accept others easily, as we become empathic. We begin to see the value in people and really know that everyone is decent at the core. As Lauren commented on Give & Get the other day, certain things seem naturally to fall away.
Stuff like the worry, anger, and criticism, and most of all I think fear falls away, replaced by faith. There is a renewed hope in your heart and your mind operates on a positive level. It is as if the negative thinking falls away as well. Sure, we still have our moments of feeling vulnerable, but I believe we are all valuable to society because of our vulnerabilities. Overall, once you manage to succeed on your learning path, life changes. Learning then becomes a lifelong commitment, which is fruitful and energizing.
We undergo many emotions with waves of grief, during the process of finding our authentic self, I did anyway. There are times of confusion and desperation. Times of wanting to give up on the venture of changing, and just go backward to the way life used to be. At times, I regretted that I had learned anything because denial seemed so much simpler. One accomplishment at a time can change your entire outlook on life and change who you are on a deep lasting level.
Even though the path can seem difficult at times, look for your accomplishments and keep plugging along, one day at a time. Give yourself credit and practice what you are learning. Most importantly, think for yourself and believe in yourself. You will embrace the finest part of yourself and experience the love that powers the universe. You cannot take my word for it because I have put words to transformation that are skin-deep at best. Life is more than just a string of accidents, it is tiny collective miracles!