The Witch's Book of Self-Care: Magical Ways to Pamper, Soothe, and Care for Your Body and Spirit - Arin Murphy-Hiscock 2018
The Importance of Being Authentic
Self-Care and Magic
At its heart, the idea of being authentic means:
♦ Figuring out who you are
♦ Accepting yourself
♦ Being true to yourself
Sound easy? Maybe not.
Often the hustle and bustle of daily life is a way to keep ourselves distracted and busy so that we don’t pause and look at ourselves and see who we really are. Pausing to take a good look at yourself can be intimidating. What if you aren’t the great person you think you are?
Sometimes self-care is hard because it means facing things you’d rather pretend aren’t there. Self-examination is uncomfortable. It requires a level of honesty that you may not feel prepared to handle. You may fear admitting that you have been the one sabotaging yourself, knowingly or unknowingly, or you may be terrified of acknowledging that you need to crack down on your self-discipline in order to be your best self. Self-care means recognizing that you’re weak in some areas. It means you have more agency and control over your life than you may be comfortable accepting.
But just think: if you admit you have weak areas, you know what to work on, and you know what parts of you need more love and nurturing. If you accept responsibility for being your best self, then you can make better decisions regarding your self-care.
Try this affirmation: “I honor my true self.”
Living as your authentic self means following a very individual path. No one else can live quite like you. It’s a unique pursuit. Yes, it is hard to isolate your own values and sometimes harder to live according to them when it might be a lot easier to remain ignorant and pretend that you’re fine. But caring for an inauthentic self is like filling a leaky bucket. You can’t ever fill it, because it’s not complete. Self-care means valuing all the various parts of you, not just some of them (yes, even the parts that still need work). If you pretend to be someone you’re not, how can you ever be truly happy? If you’re not being authentic, how can you have compassion for yourself?
Living authentically might not be easy, but it’s rewarding. Here are some things to keep in mind:
♦ Balance what you feel and/or need against your actions.
♦ Making value-based choices will be healthier in the long run than making choices based on convenience or popular opinion.
♦ Advocate for yourself and your needs or wants.
♦ Don’t let yourself be driven by a need to be approved of or liked by others. Approval is a powerful drug, but being happy with your value-based choices is healthier for your spirit and sense of self.
Being openly authentic can be intimidating. What if you embrace yourself as you truly are, weaknesses and flaws and all…only to be rejected by other people? Fear is a powerful deterrent. Fear of failure, of rejection, or of loneliness can combine with the fear of missing out, creating a tangle of anxiety and a sense of not being in control of anything. Remember, though, living authentically will build your sense of confidence and strength, which will in turn show in your personal energy.
Author Brené Brown talks about cultivating the ability to be imperfect in The Gifts of Imperfection. Accepting that you are imperfect and still worth caring for is a valuable practice in your self-care toolbox.
As much as self-examination can be scary, ignoring it just creates a different kind of stress—avoidable stress, at that. Make the choice to work through the stress and engage in self-reflection instead of being at the mercy of the stress that rises from procrastinating or ignoring something. Be in control. (Check out the exercise Authenticity: A Spell to Help Recognize the Real You, in Chapter 2.)