I overslept today. I feel like crap when I oversleep. I lecture myself, I think of all the ways I am bad and wrong and not worth the butt that I sit on, but something happened this morning to shift me from that harangue of self hate into a much better place.
I got up and set out on my original path, even though it was much later than I wanted it to be.
Seems natural, doesn’t it?
Eventually I got out of bed. I put my pants on one leg at a time – but what I decided to do that was different is I decided to not make myself quite as wrong for oversleeping. Instead I offered self compassion – eventually.
Self compassion, eventually?
It helped to text my friend Kelly and lament at myself a bit more before I got to compassion.
Nothing like public self-flagellation to complete the cycle.
One of the things Kelly said as I whined and kvetched about my lateness fired me up, perhaps in a way she hadn’t expected. She said “And at the same time you are being REAL.”
When being real & authentic is not a positive thing –
I’m raising my hand and being real when I say I believe sometimes people use the expression, “but I am being my authentic self” when they are making excuses or behaving in ways that aren’t acceptable – for example, using language that would make your grandmother’s skin crawl or being rude, arrogant, the opposite of compassionate or list your “but I am being my authentic self” shortcoming.
I can be my authentic self and stretch myself. I can be my authentic self and be uncomfortable. I can be my authentic self and be lonely.
I can also be my authentic self and do better than I have before. I can also be my authentic self and show compassion towards others AND myself.
I can be real and look amazing, I can be real and go out with unbrushed hair and an outfit that looks like I am on my way to a costume party portraying a very down-on-her-luck person.
Being Real isn’t always what it seems
This morning I didn’t do my usual amount of walking, but I am almost to the number of steps that was average at the end of the day in 2019. This makes me feel some sense of accomplishment.
I have made more progress at working my body than if I had stayed on the bed lamenting about how horrible of a person I am.
Both ways, I am being real, being true to myself. At the same time I have stumbled upon the conversation about how people have taken a well known adage, “Be real” and “Be authentic” and use them for their own shortcomings.
Let’s talk & write about being authentic and being real.
Is it wrong for a person to use “being real” and “being authentic” as a way to make themselves feel better for not doing something?
There are probably as many opinions on this as there are for styles of blue jeans. Remember, Levis’s are “authentic” and Coca-Cola has been called “The Real Thing.”
Now, it is your turn to write: Writing Prompts across genre
“Authenticity is a collection of choices that we have to make every day. It’s about the choice to show up and be real. The choice to be honest. The choice to let our true selves be seen.”
Prompt: If I were to describe my true self, I would say…
“Hard times arouse an instinctive desire for authenticity.” Coco Chanel
Prompt: When I think about being more real in hard times, what comes up is…
Copy Writer: Make a case for “Coca Cola” being “the Real Thing” or Levi’s jeans being “authentic”. Play with this fictitious copy as if it was for the most important client you’ve ever had. BONUS: write an article for your newsletter or blog using this writing as an example.
Social Media Post: Encourage people to be brave with their authenticity. Be a role model of courage in the post. Ask for input from your audience.
You can find more prompts from a wide array of purposes in the Word Love Writing Community on Facebook. Beyond prompts, there are people who want to see you succeed creatively – what could be better than that?
How would your writing productivity change if you received varied, niche driven writing prompts daily – also fiction, poetry, entrepreneur, copy writing and video prompts are offered, join the Private Word-Love Writing Community on Facebook by clicking here.
We look forward to writing with you!
Julie JordanScott lives in Bakersfield, California in a house too small for quarantine life. She leads discussions on Zoom and is polishing her most recent memoir and some poetry for soon-to-be publication. If you would like her to speak to your group over ZOOM until travel is available again, she would be happy to talk to you about that OR maybe you are looking for a slightly quirky, very open hearted, compassionate and tender Creative Life Coach. She would love to connect with you soon.