What Does Authenticity Mean?

Guest post by Amy Shook-

What does it mean to be authentic? The definition is different to each person and each situation. To me, it means we need to find beauty and gratefulness for our lives.

I don’t always identify as a glass-half-full-person all the time, but I want to. I see people who are joyful walking down the street, grocery shopping, taking the trash out, JOYFULLY.  That is what I want to be.

I want to find happiness in the small and big moments of our life, authentically being grateful for each day and each moment.

How did I jump from authentic to joyful? This is a stream of consciousness for me so stay with me! The choice to be happy is a conscious decision. We must make the decision to choose happiness, or we will stay stuck in the negative.

Is this easy? NO (HELL NO), it is beyond hard to remain positive, but it is important. To stay stuck in the negative allows negativity to take over us and causes us to miss the blessings in our lives. We are not promised an easy, perfect life, free of heartache or disaster. In fact, heartache is guaranteed.

Choosing happiness is our choice.

The word authentic has always struck me as a bit odd. How can you be authentic without focusing on the negative? I have had a horrible day, I have just (enter negative here:) ________ . How can I be positive, or even pretend to be positive? This is a very fine line, and one I still struggle with.

For me right now, authenticity is being real, with a spin on keeping my outlook on gratefulness instead of focusing on the negative. Life is not always rainbows and unicorns. We must deal with sickness, tragedy and brokenness.

Previously, I was able to compartmentalize the negatives into different parts of my daily life, and process them on a day I could deal with them. But raising children has caused my outlook on life to be challenged. In raising these tiny humans, it is nearly impossible to put negative moments into a box to deal with another day. I've got to deal with the positive and negative daily life and embrace the totality of life.

This is being authentic: living a daily life of ups and downs, while moving forward and being grateful for what we have.

I started blogging as a way to document our family's journey, but it has become much more than that to me. This blog has held me accountable to my growth and my family's growth in being authentic.

Life is not easy nor fair, but we have so much to be grateful for. I want to create a family that is grateful to be together, grateful for warm beds to sleep in, grateful for food to eat...grateful for all the things in our lives.

How do you live your authentic life?

My word for 2019 is GRATEFUL. I have awakened daily to remember I am alive and the blessings that our family has; our health, our house, the food in our kitchen and our jobs. We live a blessed and happy life, but the struggle is always there. How do we balance our blessings with the challenges and negative events in our lives?

The short answer is our outlook. We must always look for the sunshine, the positive, the silver lining. The more you look for the positive, the more you will see it. I challenge you, just as I do myself:

Look for the ray of sunshine in all things, sometimes it is really hard to find, but it is there, just look for it.



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