Woodcarvers have a tough job. They are given the exact same medium every single time: a block of wood. Then they’re tasked with making something unique, something beautiful, something worth selling. And it takes forever. For. Ev. Er. Much like the woodcarver shapes the block of wood by removing unnecessary layers to reveal the subject, our hearts require the same attention and intention. We must remove the unnecessary layers of protection of our hearts so that 1.) we can be authentic with ourselves and with others and 2.) we can acknowledge/embrace our individuality.
The key to authenticity is discovering our uniqueness. We can’t have one without the other. The capacity to have authentic relationships requires the work of knowing ourselves. What do we like? What do we love? What breaks our hearts? What do we hate? What inspires us? When we get the chance to answer these questions truthfully, our hearts are revealed.
When we try to emulate someone else’s identity or individuality, we aren’t being honest with ourselves about ourselves. Hiding is an easy option, but the cost is great. We become disconnected from ourselves, from others, and from God. Our hearts become protected, unreachable by any relationship. It takes practice to cultivate a willingness to show up no matter the perceived failure; it’s important to remember to be kind to ourselves in this process. Our brains are trying to untangle YEARS of thought processes and associations. Point-blank, choosing authenticity will always involve making mistakes along the way….and those mistakes are exposed…but it’s still the better option. How we choose to respond to failure will define the kind of person we will become. Do I embrace the fact that I’m like a giraffe on ice when it comes to living authentically? Or do I try to hide/deny/prove/defend?
Who knows you the best?
With whom do you want to find the courage to be more of your unique self?