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Authentic

Just got back from Kensington - Troy's Saturday evening service and felt compelled to share something here that connects some dots in my life. Writing it down helps crystallize it in my memory. It's about authenticity.

Recently at work, I was asked if I would be willing to talk about the topic of authenticity to a group of people during a company sponsored event called "Diversity Week." More specifically I was asked to answer the question "How do you bring your authentic self to work?". I immediately said yes to the invite without really thinking about it. But as I got to thinking about the topic I was like "Whoa, wait a minute here, how do you talk about THAT?"

Let me get one thins out of the way first before I go deeper (but not too deep) on this. It felt completely inauthentic to be talking about how to be authentic. Hard to explain (for me). My initial internal premise on the subject was simply this, you are either authentic or you are not. Of course we all know that it is much more nuanced than that when it comes to living in many of the artificial constructs we find ourselves in.

Anyhow, I spent quite a bit of time preparing for this presentation after it hit me how hard it would be talk about it. I won't bore you with what I presented, but I do want to share with you a couple of things that came to light for me after I had given my presentation that really helped me understand the topic more (I wish they had come to light before I presented!).

First was an article in Esquire that I completely stumbled upon a couple of days after I presented. It was a recent interview of Bruce Springsteen and for whatever reason (probably because I listened to him in the 80's), I decided to take a quick glance at it. It was a lengthy article that I scanned really fast when I landed on this following excerpt:

"In the arc of your life, there are so many places where you reach milestones that add to your authenticity and your presentation of who you really are. But I find myself still struggling just for obvious things that I should’ve had under my belt a long time ago."

That really resonated with me. I would say that one of those milestones in my life was in 2009 with this Band of Brothers when we did the Wild at Heart series. It was then when my eyes were beginning to be opened to how I was posing in my life (and still do but hopefully to a lesser degree). There are many other milestones for sure but I won't get into those.
Anyhow, check out the article some time...it's pretty good.

The second was Kensington's service tonight. Danny Cox was preaching on their current series "The Road Home" when he referenced the following quote from Brene Brown, a well known University of Houston research professor on the main topic of leadership, and more specifically, courage, empathy, shame and vulnerability.

"True belonging is the spiritual practice of believing in and belonging to yourself so deeply that you can share your most authentic self with the world and find sacredness in both being a part of something and standing alone in the wilderness."

That one hit me even harder and was really the catalyst for me to want to try and write this out. You know where this heading...I'll keep it simple...the ONLY way you can believe in yourself and belong to yourself so deeply is if "yourself" is anchored in Christ. Think "In Christ's Image Training" 101. Full stop.

Ok, I'll end this with a challenge to you all. When you get up in the morning, look yourself in the mirror and ask yourself this question..."Who are You?" After you verbally answer that question to yourself and with Holy Spirit in you, go out and be that person.  Live your answer no matter what the cost.
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