When I was little, I was sure there were monsters under the bed when I was falling asleep each night. Now all grown up, I’ve wondered about what we see in the dark. What lens do we look through as we try to define our own true sense of self? We believe that our real identity is seen when we are being authentic. Newsflash: nope. Authenticity isn’t about being, it’s about doing. Authenticity is an active choice, not a passive state. We aren’t authentic because we feel we are an honest person. We’re authentic because we do honest acts.

Authenticity is about authoring our own story. It’s a wonderful thing to be authentic because we are always, at every moment, just one spoken word and one action away from our truest self. It is hope-filled and empowering to know that we’re in charge of our affirmations and aspirations each day. Being genuinely authentic is the vehicle that carries us toward our dreams. It defines our identity and records our humanity.

Authorship isn’t about joining a book club. Inscribing in our book is a solo endeavor. It is our pen, it is our page and it is our obligation to set down our life’s plan and then to act. Even those who love us may mean well but they view the world (and us) through their lens.

So when it’s dark, we can see monsters under our bed. But in the dark of night, we can see the stars illuminate the sky. When it’s bright outside, we can shield our eyes from the harshness of the light. But in the light of day, we can see our loved one’s smile. Consider this: pick up your pen and become the author of your best self. Mental health authenticity in three words: Live your story. If you do, in the darkness you’ll gaze at the stars and in the light, you’ll see a loved one’s smile.  

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