By Dr. Lindsay B. Jernigan
And so begins my writing adventure! This is a fitting time and place to start writing about authenticity, I think, because of where I am NOT. I am not at a clean and organized, uncluttered, well-lit desk. I am not in an inspiring setting in a moment of grounded creative clarity. And I don’t have an enviously big chunk of time reserved and protected for writing. In other words, I am not in the time or place I’ve previously told myself I SHOULD be in to write. Now that I am finally putting pen to paper, it all becomes clear – of course those shoulds were boundaries that were hanging me up, because they are SHOULDS! And this is about AUTHENTICITY! The shoulds, by nature, block authenticity. This project is truly going to be a learning process – as I write about authenticity, I will be undergoing my own journey, birthing creatively through my own adventures in learning to live authentically. I have to immerse in the content AND the process of authentic living for this project to launch and live. I have to both write about and BE the subject of exploration.
So, let me tell you where I AM. I am writing by hand on the back of a piece of paper I pulled out of the bottom of my purse. I’ve been carrying it, folded up in there, since I was rear-ended eight months ago. On the front of the page I hand scrawled the contact info for the insurance agent who will supposedly process my claim just as soon as I tend to that. (Ahhhh, the list of tasks undone. I probably SHOULD be dealing with that right now, right?!) I am writing in three minute spurts in between dutifully listening to my 11 year old daughter read aloud from her ever-evolving report on Amerigo Vespucci. We are sitting at a cluttered café table among croissant crumbs and loose sheets of her school work, with a total of 28 minutes before we have to walk down the street to retrieve the younger sister and deliver the older sister to hip hop class. In other words, this moment isn’t what it should be…it’s only what itis.
And the revelation of the moment, after struggling for at least a year to find the “right” time to write, is that THIS is the right time. It is good enough, just as it is. In fact, it is PERFECT. It’s the perfect experiential reminder about the theme of authenticity, itself. Embrace what is, just as it is. Without hiding, without judging or shaming, without striving, without changing. Then words flow, the message spreads, the light shines. Then gifts are shared. That’s why embracing authenticity is the most compassionate thing we can do. So welcome to my blog about Compassionate Authenticity. And we’re off!