Inauthenticity: The Biggest Energy Drain
Identifying your fake self
Being someone you are not is absolutely exhausting and yet we attempt to do this all of the time. Whether its in a social setting, work setting, or a one on one interaction with another person we find ways to filter, tame or ignore our true nature rather than just be ourselves. Why is it that we pretend to be other, different, better, kinder or more amiable than we actually are? It mostly comes down to wanting approval and acceptance by others and our fear of rocking the boat and creating a messy or destructive splash.
When we choose approval or acceptance by others over our own natural impulse or nature we drain our own energy and dim our inner flame. We literally become a shell because we’ve lost connection to our essence. We are gone and only the outer clothing of the image we project remains. We have all had this experience. Perhaps you’ve found yourself in a conversation with a friend, client or co-worker and were completely drained afterwards. Or maybe you were in a social setting not speaking or engaging at all, yet feeling like you should be interacting in someway and find yourself similarly exhausted just being in that setting. In these scenarios the ideas that we have about what and who we should be and how we should interact dominate our inner environment and take over our person. This is the birth of the inauthentic version of ourselves that we think that world wants more than the authentic version.
The disappearance of the real you and the presentation to the world of the fake you gives you the illusion of safety and security, which is why you choose it over the real you. This illusion of security provided by the acceptance of you by others temporarily feels safe and reassuring yet has significant long-term costs. The costs are a drain to your life force which has physical effects on your body and its capacity to heal, rest and regenerate. There is also a dimmed down expression of yourself that often comes with a sense of either not knowing yourself, liking yourself, valuing yourself or a lack of self-confidence. Lastly there can be the experience of frustration that comes from not listening to or following through on your natural impulses or excitements. In these ways your inauthenticity and choosing safety and security over your own beingness becomes the biggest energy drain. The greater your inauthenticity the more lethargic, moody, tired and eventually sick you will feel. These are the effects of disconnection from ourselves.
Your Inner Fire
Inviting the messy, destructive & chaotic
Due to our conditioned propensities towards organization rather than mess, constructive rather than destructive, and calm rather than chaotic we live within a limited range of ourselves while attempting to control and manage life so that we experience more comfort rather than discomfort. Our often complete aversion to discomfort makes us a planet of people pleasers and do gooders that jump to immediate alleviation at the first sign of upset or distress while simultaneously feeling suffocated, constricted and tight as we keep ourselves confined to expressing only that which is pleasing and containable. We wonder innocently enough why it is we feel so tense and why its feels hard to breath while not allowing ourselves to feel a grain of discomfort and thus only allowing a fraction of our expression.
To invite the entire range of ourselves to play we have to be willing to feel the burn from time to time. Not everything we say is nice and not everything we do is kind, nor is it always supposed to be. Sometimes the most loving way to be has nothing to do with niceness, kindness or making sure others are ok with our expressions. This isn’t a permission slip to be belligerent, but rather a permission slip to be authentically you. We each are and have access to every characteristic and aspect in existence. We are all parts and all parts are us. To only play with or express a few parts is what gives us the experience of limitation.
Your inner flame or fire is your source of passion and life force. It is lit when you are simply being you. There isn’t anything extra or added that you need. In fact it is quite the opposite. It is the dropping away of the added or extra, which are the filters and layers of falsity, allow your fire to burn effortlessly and as brightly as you are. This is when you feel the most alive, energized, and vital. Fire also has the capacity to burn away that which is false or inauthentic to you. The more you allow the flame of your authentic self the clearer you become in yourself.
What then is required of you is simply to be yourself. This is the experience of being rested and energized simultaneously. To have the ability to respond, act and be in accordance with your true nature and not be dependent on other people or situations that you find yourself in to give you an external sense of comfort and safety. This is the expression of confidence and self-worth. To no longer compromise yourself at the expense of other peoples thoughts, opinions and perceptions of you. To value your expression enough to simply be it no matter what. This is what it is to be authentic.
Inviting the sometimes messy, chaotic, destructive and uncomfortable is a good practice as it will stretch you out of your safety nets and help you drop the filters you have up that you don’t even know you have. Moving towards your aversions of discomfort rather than away will liberate you from them. Your freedom lies within being able to be with all expressions of you and not just picking and choosing the select few that you like or feel good to you. When you can be with all of you, you are free.
Amanda Hessel, Chiropractor, Network Spinal Analysis & Somato-Respiratory Integration, Boulder, Colorado