I believe that each life is our very own authenticity ritual.
We are meant to come into the world, and abide within the meat of our bodies, purposely for the process that the experience of being within our bodies provides.
Each of us comes into the world with a “genius” as James Hillman writes in his book Soul’s Code. This genius, the creature we come in with, carries our unique gift. This gift is our offering for the larger community. Our genius only wants to enact its purpose, it has no other focus, and it wants to do what it is meant to do, as soon as possible. But our meat (our bodies, minds, emotions) must be prepared, develop, and catch up to what the genius is sure it can already accomplish. The great musician, or scientist, cannot simply begin to fulfill their vision from day one. They must learn their craft, be taught the structures of methodology, come into relationship with the source of their visions. They must mature emotionally so that they can sustain the social requirements that will be placed upon them as they offer their gift to the larger community.
Meanwhile, each individual is born into imperfect bodies (there is no such thing as perfect), with imperfect societies around them. The Human Experience is the experience of being born into our corporeal existence, to move through this experience of life, and be changed and tempered by this process. I see this experience as a ritual that offers us a lifetime of opportunities to step into our authentic selves, our authentic voice.
Why bother with authenticity?
Why help the ritual to succeed in shifting us into our specific authenticity?
True authenticity offers us the clarity and grounding needed to hear our inner voice. Inner voice allows us to access our genius, that unique spark that each individual holds. By knowing what is authentic to you, you are able to access and enact that which is your unique offering to life.
We are not always 100% in our authenticity. The ritual of being within our body is intense. It brings us into some pretty confusing experiences, and throws us curve balls. Sometimes we develop ritual habits that run counter to hearing our internal dialogue, or that create secondary dialogues that disrupt our gifts. It is possible with conscious intent to develop practices and ways of seeing that make it easier and easier to return to an awareness of your authentic self as you journey through life.
Many lessons come with the process that is this authenticity ritual, some people are given more intense rituals than others, some people have geniuses with louder voices. The struggle and ecstasies of life are the opportunity for shaping qualities and characteristics of our offering. Through it all, the ritual continues, providing us with choice after choice to be within the pattern and rhythm of our authentic self.
My fascination and excitement is stimulated by the processes of identifying and developing an individual’s unique gift, while they are in the throws of the ritual of living.
If you look at life as a ritual, than you can see all of the moments where the sacredness of the experience awakened awe. You also see the places of intense initiation, horror, and confusion. All of it is a part of the authentic relationship to our world, our body, our human relations. Life becomes an offering of situations meant to shatter and build us up with immersive experience. Within the ritual we have ample opportunity to find our truest way of being in any given moment. We feel and learn these ways of being with the information of our bodies, our emotions, our processes of reaction.
In an ideal world, the organic processes of loving socialization would bring us forward into our strong personal awareness, our individual container. This container, made of understanding, grounded self awareness, and trust in our instinctive voice, would then hold us as we process and deal with each piece of the ritual (life). We would be held in a way that allows us to hear our inner voice, and follow our authentic path.
This is a sweet fairy story, but not the experience of humans, born into imperfect situations, with imperfect bodies. One can make sense of these imperfections as attributes that develop and intensify life learnings. Some would suggest that this is a cruel or simplistic statement that does not take into account the incredible pain or abuse that many experience and suffer. I don’t say this tritely, or as a new age attempt to gloss over difficult and painful life experiences. Viktor Frankl describes the person who continues to choose learning in the midst of even the most horrific life experiences. Choosing to keep growing and experiencing is a choice of embracing the authenticity ritual. We can make the choice to be aware of it, and to participate in the processes it offers us, delving for the inner voice that will help us to see in flashes and starts, our genius, and what it requires of us, even in the darkest cave.