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What Does 'Authentic' Mean to You?

Discussion in 'LGBT Later in Life' started by SevnButton, Sep 28, 2018.

  1. Broccoli

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    This was EXACTLY the phrase that went through my mind at the time but I politely rephrased it for my post!! :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:
     
  2. I'mStillStanding

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    First I’ve been gone a while how does the @ thing work? lol I’m gonna try it, but if it doesn’t work then please forgive my ignorance...

    @Broccoli and @SevnButton I totally understand and respect what your saying in regards to how we treat others. That said, I think being authentic is more about how we treat ourself. Making no apologies for who we are, and just being us. That is different for everyone of course.

    Showing up to a scheduled event (totally something you should do I hate to even be late much less have to cancel literal panic attacks) or fulfilling a commit we have made are all great things. I do think you have to ask yourself, as you grow and change, are these commitments something I can stay true to with the new person I’ve become. If the answer is yes, that’s awesome. If it’s no, that’s ok too.

    It’s part of life, some people grow together as life happens others grow apart. I can only speak for myself, but what I did was literally question everything. Do I feel this way because it’s my belief or feelings, or because society told me this is what you have to do? I literally had no sexual relationships before I got married. We actually only kiss twice, like a short kinda kiss, before we were at the altar. I was raised being taught sex is dirty, and the only acceptable form was the one where you make a baby. No oral! No masturbation! Literally felt horrible about myself in regards to the last one. Anyway, as I started questioning my views on things I realized they weren’t mine but what was pushed on me. I obviously feel way different now, though a lot of family doesn’t. I don’t critize their beliefs because I respect them. That’s me being authentic. Now when they critize my views (which happens often) I remind myself this doesn’t speak on me as a person but on them for their lack of respect.

    I got lost somewhere, but hope there is something of use in this ramble lol.
     
  3. SevnButton

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    That's good - worth quoting!
     
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  4. SevnButton

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    That's cool that I got your meaning without you having to say it. I think in the UK, that expression is considered more vulgar than it is here in the US.
     
  5. SevnButton

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    It seems that when you use '@' before a user name, it causes an alert to be sent to that user. I got an alert saying, "I'mStillStanding mentioned you in a post".
     
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  6. OGS

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    I would certainly not describe snapping at people as authentic, at least for me, perhaps if I was a different kind of person... The fact of the matter is that being someone who is kind, compassionate and genuinely cares for those around me is pretty core to my own identity. The few times I have really let the lizard brain take hold and snap at someone, the first thought that comes to me when it's over is always some variation on "well, that wasn't really like me at all, was it?" Hardly seems "authentic" to me. The one thing I will say is that while kind, caring and compassionate make the list for me, polite really doesn't. Now I am generally polite in a sense--as a byproduct, because I care about the people I speak with, but at core the whole "polite" thing doesn't make a lot of sense to me. It tends to be about pretending you feel things you don't. I will sit through people's baby pictures not because I love children but because I care about the people showing the pictures and they deeply care about their children. If I actually don't care for you and you try to show me your baby pictures I will find a way to excuse myself--luckily that hardly ever happens.

    For me the authentic way to be caring, kind and compassionate is to acknowledge that that isn't all you are. I like to think I am all those things, but I also know that sometimes I get frustrated, I'm not always as patient as I would like to be, nor do I always have as much energy as I would like. But that's me and I don't feel that it negates the fact that I am still a good person who cares about the people around me, and for me being that good person doesn't involve pretending I'm not the person I am, it's working through it to be the person I am. I actually had someone come to me today with a very similar request to the one you described from work. Did I tell him to bugger off? Not exactly, but sort of. I said something along the lines of "wow, I can see you're frustrated and need help and I can help you, but I need you also to know that I'm having a bit of a moment myself. There's something I need to do that I'm not sure I understand. I know I'll be better able to help you if I can take the time to deal with my own moment first. I suspect my moment will take about 15 minutes maybe a little more. Can I help you in about 15 minutes?" As it happened it took me about 20 minutes to work through my moment at which point I was able to help him with what he was doing--and explain what I was doing (and how I now knew to do it) in case he ever had to do it. I don't honestly think there's anything wrong with putting on your own oxygen mask before attending to your traveling companions...
     
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  7. Tightrope

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    We've been writing a lot of different things about authenticity. The reading has been interesting.

    Since EC is a site mostly dealing with GLBT topics, does authenticity mean full disclosure of your sexuality or preferences to people as part of your overall identity? The word authentic has been used with topics relating to sexuality like two peas in a pod for about 10 years now, so that's why I ask. I believe the thread should broach this concept as well and I'm hoping members can discuss this.
     
  8. Nickw

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    I probably wrestle with this more than anything regarding my sexuality. I've, pretty much, decided that full disclosure is out of the question for me. So, I need to make authenticity something I keep within. That just feels like a cop out. If I hide a part of me, I'm not authentic. If I don't hide, my wife suffers. I can either be an out, monogamous, bisexual or I can be someone who hides my sexuality so I can explore it. I've tried for a compromise that says "I won't disclose, I won't hide". But, that's not true either. I choose who gets to know and who doesn't. Still hiding.

    True authenticity may not be in the cards for some of us. What if you have two things that you need to be yourself and they are not compatible?
     
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  9. I'mStillStanding

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    First off, the first part made me a bit sad. Being yourself should not only be in the cards, but should be the only deck you play with. That said, I don’t think sexuality has to be in the forefront to be authentic (and me saying that is crazy I know). I know plenty of straight folks who never talk about their sexuality just because it’s something they don’t feel comfortable sharing. That is just part of who some people are. It’s not me, I don’t have many boundaries when it comes to talking about my life lol (as long as it’s not disclosing someone else’s story as well so I use a lot of nicknames when talking to friends about relations haha).

    Now, for me, I don’t have any choice but be visible. It’s part of who I am! I wish there was a gay person in my life when I was younger. Maybe it would have made me accepting myself a little easier. If it was a perfect world, I’d prob be a little more reserved (that’s a lie lol). But since straight is still not only the default, it’s often the only acceptable way to be, I have to wave my rainbow flag. If one person finds it helpful in some way, it’d be worth it...
     
  10. greatwhale

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    It is an ancient and important philosophical debate; this struggle between being too true to be good, or too good to be true...

    Authenticity is really about integrity, that what is inside should not deviate too much from what is visible to others. We consider this to be a good thing, but again...we can also be authentic bastards...

    The rabbis of old considered gossip, in Hebrew: lashon hara, as a very serious sin. It relates to the Ninth Commandment "Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour". They considered negative gossip about others to be abhorrent; and here is the kicker, their teachings indicated that one should abstain about speaking ill of others, even if it is true. This is indeed a beautiful example of situational ethics, based in reality and not some ideal or abstraction of what is considered good.

    In almost all of the discussions above, the issue of being good is never far from the discussion on authenticity. Can being authentic be primarily about living up to the values we have chosen to live by (if we have even thought about it)? We Westerners are the inheritors of the final ancient Greek triumph, whose chief proponent was Plato, of elevating Truth and pure reason as a higher value than the Good...And here we are, still struggling with that conundrum.

    The Stoics had a better idea: choose a value to live by, and then live up to it. In ancient times this sometimes meant exile or death, but they could not live in any way less than what they considered to be the most excellent part of themselves. They had integrity in terms of values, in terms of excellence and quality; the authentic truth was secondary...

    If you look at any object of quality, is truth not part and parcel of its essence? Say a beautifully designed piece of furniture, made of solid oak, or a "genuine" leather jacket, or a brilliant poem; their quality is in their authenticity, but it is the quality, the good, that predominates. We call it genuine only to distinguish it from all the veneer and fakery of lesser objects. The good quality work that went into them is ultimately the source of both the subject and the object, and in these, there is no question as to what is authentic.
     
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  11. zuice

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    To understand the truth one's being seeks beauty.
     
  12. SevnButton

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    The first thing I did when I was trying to understand 'authentic' was to look at the dictionary definition: "of undisputed origin; undisputed". That doesn't help much when talking about a person being authentic, but it TOTALLY makes sense when talking about what a person says, does or presents. If I apply that to myself, I'm being authentic when what I say, do or present is truly coming from who I truly am. It isn't just saying what I think people want to hear, and it isn't just doing what I think I can get away with. It's consistent from day-to-day, butit also grows and develops over time.
     
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