The Importance of Authenticity

Carl Rogers wrote: “It is not simple to achieve such reality [as being authentic]. Being real involves the difficult task of being acquainted with the flow of experience going on within oneself, a flow marked especially by complexity and continuous change…” (Lietaer, 2012).

As I listened to a husband’s tortured cry, while his wife sat silently by, seemingly cold as ice, I noticed my longing to “fix” her as much as the husband. As the husband continue to manifest emotional flooding, I listened to my internal dialogue, to remain calm, clear and focused; to not get pushed aside into the husband’s drama, to the exclusion of the wife’s.

We began dialogue with each other, and the atmosphere changed—palpably—giving them both assurance that we are all going to be okay and make it through the tough bits of life that threaten our hopes and dreams. Even better, we are given opportunities in the “dark night of the soul” to let down the façade, even destroy it, in exchange for a life of deeper meaning, more whole relationships, and an openness to God’s redemptive work in us.

Jesus dialogued with people, AUTHENTICALLY, the only way he could. He knew their deepest longing—to connect with their Creator—and was able to call that forth, which always had transformative action. As the words of the song “The Way I Am” by Jennifer Knapp: “it’s better off this way to be deaf, dumb, and lame, then to be the way I am..” prompt thoughts of the lame man Jesus approached saying, “Do you want to get well?”

How many of us are like that man—sick at our core, isolating our self from the pain of interaction–or lack thereof–with others? How many of us know that we possess the power to take up our mat and walk to that which can bring healing we have not even imagined? Experiencing this for oneself will convey Divine Power to others—the power of authenticity.