Being Authentically Me In "Strange" Places - Lessons on Being True to YourselfRecently I had an unusual lesson in being authentically me. This past week I went to Green Lake, Wisconsin for a Baptist-Muslim Dialog Conference.

It’s probably not the kind of place you’d expect to find an intuitive present – certainly not one with many of my identities. And yet… I felt more comfortable there than I did at the academic conferences I’ve attended in the last few years. I felt more comfortable there than at the writers conferences I’ve attended – or even the sci-fi cons.

Why is that?

It took me a while to process this because it seems counter-intuitive. From the outside, you’d think this conference would be the most uncomfortable. So what was the difference?

I realized after talking with some friends, that even though I didn’t feel comfortable sharing everything about myself (I wasn’t going to use the word “psychic” for example.), we did share something major in common.

Unlike all the other conferences I’ve attended, everyone here had a spiritual core. And it wasn’t just any spiritual core – it was a love core. So yes, there were a variety of beliefs and practices represented, but that didn’t matter. Everyone was welcoming. Everyone was loving. Every interaction felt infused with genuine care.

It wasn’t just any spiritual core – it was a love core. #authentic #spiritualliving Click To Tweet

Being Authentically Me In A Religious Space

When I was asked what I did, I wasn’t dishonest. I said that I was an intuitive life coach. When people pressed me about the intuitive bit, I explained in a round-about way.

“I think in conservative circles it’s often called the gift of discernment.” And most people left it at that, not sure how to take it.

Sometimes they pushed me on the coaching bit. That was a little easier.

“Well I help people step into their authentic selves. I believe we are all perfectly intended by God. The best way for us to serve God, is to be our best selves – to embrace who we are, our skills, gifts, and talents. And I trust these will be used for the highest good – I don’t know how. It’s not my job to know. All I need to do is trust.”

Interestingly, both Muslims and Baptists agreed – many quite adamantly. An imam told me there’s even a verse in the Quran that essentially says this exact thing.

How about that!

So yes, I didn’t completely come out to these people. I didn’t know them well enough to know how they would react and I didn’t want to test things (No doubt some of them may read this blog and find out – which is fine.).

In fact, the scariest thing is the idea that someone might buy one of my books (in particular my world religion curriculum or interfaith devotional) and then end up on my email list and get a whole slew of f-bombs and woo-woo references.

For a solid hour I worried about this. And yes, the conference was not the right place to be like that – for a variety of reasons. BUT… this is my house. This is me. I’m not going to stop swearing or talking about my abilities because someone might get offended. If they do operate with love at their core, none of this shit will matter (see what I did there?). It’s all window-dressing.

All that matters is the core of the person.

The Storm of Authenticity

I’ve had many visions about a coming storm this summer. Some of them are definitely related to the political situation, which is clearly a storm at this point (and y’all – it’s just beginning and it will get worse).

My husband is convinced these visions are also about the book I’m writing – the book that asserts things that a lot of people don’t want to touch. He’s convinced the spiritual gifts my guides have been giving me are all to help me easily weather this.

And the truth is there are many things in this book people do not want to talk about, for a variety of reasons.

The irony is a lot of the ideas I’m writing about are not new. In fact, they’re quite old. They just happened to be pushed aside and ignored for centuries in Christianity.

In fact, many concepts and ideas in my book are so hidden, they aren’t even an elephant in the room… which breaks my heart. How can you ask for representation, for a place at the table, when your voice isn’t even acknowledged as existing? When your identity isn’t seen as legitimate?

I’m so done with being pushed aside – with these mystical experiences relegated to the land of crazy-town (which is a whole other issue) and laughed at as invalid experience.

Getting Real

I’ve often heard it said, and I completely agree, that the thing we teach the best is the issue we struggle with the most.

Guess what mine is?

The thing we teach the best is the issue we struggle with the most. #authenticity #vulnerability #spiritualliving Click To Tweet

Being true to myself. Being completely authentically me at all times. It’s something I keep pushing towards and seeking for other people because it’s something I wrestle with on the regular.

The love thing, by comparison, is easy for me (Side note: Maybe I should start teaching patience…).

But owning my shit? Owning who I am? Revealing myself to people?! HA! RIGHT! For decades I did the exact opposite. I would appear to share myself with people, even while holding extraordinarily important things back. And that was just with other people.

That didn’t even touch the things I repressed from myself.

But if I’m going to serve the Universe/God/Source, then I need to own who I am. I need to embrace myself fully and be authentically me. I need to let go of whatever ideas I have in my head about who I should be or what I should be doing, and not worry so much. When I do that, focused through a lens of unconditional love, that’s magical.

That’s beauty.

And I know that whatever happens, it will always be used for the highest good.

You Do You Boo

So how does this impact you? Why should you bother with all this?

There are a few things that stand out o me – one is a reminder for you that all you need to do is be the best you possible. Be authentically you. Just trying to do your best at being you is enough. Learn more about you. Focus on the things that bring you joy. Spend time focused on your particular purpose!

The second thing to remember is that even people who seem to have this shit together, often have struggles around these very things. So when you have a setback in one of these areas, don’t worry too much. You’ve got this – certainly as much as anyone else (including the fancy-pants “gurus”)!

And as you work on this, you may find yourself in strange places, where you’re able to be more yourself than you realized. Hold onto those spaces and figure out what makes them special. Then replicate the shit out of them in other places and times. We all need those kinds of things. They’re the ones that get us through tough times, and keep us true to our core selves.

All you need to do is be the best you possible. #authenticity #spiritualliving Click To Tweet
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Being Authentically Me In “Strange” Places
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