The Authentic You

“Be yourself is the worst advice you can give to some people.” – Tom Masson

Who is the REAL you? Who knows the REAL you?

As humans, we all try to put out the best message we can about who we are.

We look a certain way, we dress in a particular manner, and we act according to our background and personality.

No one who is sane puts it all out there when they first meet someone; no matter who they are.

If they are famous their biography precedes them and no need to announce who they are.

Often a façade is presented and only with time and comfort and trust can it be put aside.

Sometimes there are big surprises about who the real person is. The old story; a wolf in sheep’s clothing, is but one example.

Usually time will cause the real you to present itself.

It may take a crisis or something that angers you or it may in fact take an incident that exposes you; either in a positive or negative way.

A show now on Broadway, Dear Evan Hansen is a huge hit. The reason in addition to beautiful music and voices is the story.

It revolves around a young man in high school who is trying to be accepted and loved. He goes to great lengths to achieve this both within his personal family and his peers and others.

It is what we all want; to be accepted and loved for who we are.

At times, we wear masks. With Halloween around the corner this whole issue is most appropriate. I have had both gay and transgender clients who can feel free to dress and for the moment be free to be who they are. Halloween releases them. Many of us put on the costume and mask of who we might like to be or how we wish we were seen.

Many play at Halloween all the time.

The question always is, ‘Can I be accepted and indeed loved with all that I am, the good and the bad?’

A very few try to get it over with early on and do ‘gross’ things as a test. Some rare people really just don’t give a damn, or so they say.

At heart, I believe after decades of working with individuals of all stripes and backgrounds, that the majority of people truly want to be accepted and cared about and feel they ‘matter.’

It does all begin, you guessed it, at the beginning with a mother and parents caring and loving you. They may change with time and that will hurt. Peers also have to include you. Just look around at the people dressing the same, often weirdly, or having tattoos or piercings, or green hair! They want acceptance. They want to be noticed.

At times, we ourselves may be evolving and not sure who we are or what we want to be, but that’s okay. Being a full blown YOU takes many turns and many experiments.

How many people put on an affectation, or are very reserved and don’t let you get close?

Just disclosing information is not intimacy. Intimacy involves feelings and vulnerability. None of us wants to be rejected, or hurt, or feel unlovable. The teen years are especially challenging in all of this.

People with disabilities, or who don’t feel comfortable with their looks or bodies are especially vulnerable to self-hate even.

We all have ‘tender’ spots emotionally. We all have wounds that grow scar tissue and we all have to deal with our authentic self. The question will ultimately be, ’If this person knew this and that about me, would they still care about me?’ Frightening business to be sure.

The only way to know is to test it. Test it with someone who has tested some of all of this with you. If you are very brave just let it out with words or deeds. All you need is one person to NEED and WANT you!

Love that is real needs a REAL you; an authentic YOU!

“Whatever you may be sure of, be sure of this- That you are dreadfully like other people.”- James Russell Lowell

Give five words that describe the true you. Have you shared the real you with anyone? Whom?


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