The Authentic You



Been quite a few weeks at our place. We returned from a nice vacation in Aspen, CO to hear news that Ann's 97 year old mom was close to dying. One week ago today she passed away. Ann's sister Sue from Charleston, SC flew in on Sunday and stayed with us. We all traveled north a few hours for the two day visitation, funeral and the burial. Got back on Tuesday and took Sue to the airport Wednesday morning. Within a few hours of returning from the airport I started to experience abdominal pain. After several visits to doctors it was determined that I had a hernia. Surgery yesterday afternoon and I was back home last night. Thank God for pain meds!

Highs and lows of life can help us to identify the important things in life. Sometimes things like funerals can help you connect to the authentic you. Consider what Kim Allen says in this recent article.
Without thinking about it, point to yourself. You probably didn't point to your head. Rather, you pointed to the center of your chest, the area around the heart. And the reason most of us do is evident in the way the word heart is used in just about every culture and language around the world: Follow your heart; speak from your heart; in your heart you know. All metaphors for the authentic you!

Being true to your heart is the formula for living the life you want. When there is an alignment between what's in your heart and the actions you carry out the better life seems to work. You're fulfilled, content and at peace. You feel care, appreciation, love, joy, compassion, kindness-heart-felt emotions that not only feel good, but are good for you, too. Is it any wonder we all live for the moments our hearts come alive?
I love that last sentence. I have had moments like that. Those heart enlivening moments usually help us to understand who we really are in an authentic sense. Consider these questions posed by Kim:
  • What matters most to you?
  • What's important to you professionally? Personally?
  • What values do the people you admire exemplify?
  • What motivates you to put in more effort at work?
  • What would you do Saturday morning if time, distance and money weren't an issue?

These are good questions. What things do you feel brings out the authentic you? Do you find joys (like vacations) or trials (like doctors and hospitals) surface the real you? Or perhaps it is helping people who hurt? When do you most sense that you are being the real you? I would love to hear your thoughts!


19 comments:

  1. Hmmm...you have got me thinking Bob.
    First of all I hope your recovery is as speedy as your surgery and getting back home were..
    What is the authentic me?
    Love the joy I feel when I am in the mountains and breathing the fresh air.
    Love the smell and feel of a baby's skin.
    I really do enjoy serving others and volunteering but I also enjoy being served and loved on.
    I guess the authentic me is first a wife and then a Mom and Grandma.
    There are so many components to the "real" me that I think I have to think on this some more.
    What values in others do I admire...honesty, true caring..not manipulative, giving and full of good humor. I like to be around people that make me laugh, but not at another's expense.
    Good stuff Bob.

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    1. Your comment is good stuff Sue! Thanks so much for sharing!

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  2. I'm sorry to hear about your loss, but she lived a good, long life! Sorry about your surgery, but thankful you got it before Obamacare is implemented! Get well, quickly!

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    1. Thanks Linda. Next year I will be one Medicare, which I hear is pretty good. ツ

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  3. We haven't had any problem with Medicare...yet. We've heard horror stories of the changes coming, but I don't think we have a choice. I guess we just need to stay well!

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    1. Do not know of folks that have problems with Medicare Linda. The system has improved over the years. In contrast, disabled folks (like my wife) are kicked to the curb by those wonderful insurance companies (that everyone seems to love) and are forced to Medicare insurance. That happened to my wife and we have been happy with the coverage. They approved and paid for her very expensive stem cell transplant a few years ago. Medicare has been good to her and easy to deal with. Despite what people might think, we do not really miss that wonderful insurance company that dumped her.

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  4. Congrats on getting the hernia repaired! Recover well!

    I'm afraid I'm the kind Kim Allen wouldn't like.

    + When I pointed to myself, it was to my left eye
    + Everything matters to me. I'm intense about all of it. Work matters. Play matters. Spirit matters. Body matters. Everything.
    + People I admire must be both aware of other people as precious and effective at what they value
    + The ability to do is what motivates me. I keep working at the handstand because I can almost do it, and I push myself relentlessly at work because my project is almost working
    + On a Saturday morning? I already do it. Challenge myself somewhere. It's fun on a tennis court, but it can be fun in the backyard, too. The most relaxing and rewarding thing is find something hard to do. I'm tempted to log on to work, when it's the most challenging thing I can find.

    I'm astounded just how little fun I really am.

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    1. Thanks Kevin! One of the FB responses was pointing to their nose. Sometimes I do think that folks identify more with their head than their heart.

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  5. Get well soon!! I am most alive when with a group of Believers in a lively discussion about The Lord, or when listening to a teaching from Bible teacher, I really like and respect, who stretches my mind and my heart, and top of the list: when I am reading The Word and a scripture I have read MANY times suddenly speak directly to me, exactly where I am at .

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    1. I am feeling better today Susan. I so agree with you about coming alive in a group of believer friends.

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  6. Big questions Bob!

    I'm sorry to hear about your loss and hope you do recover soon. I'm going to a funeral later today myself.


    I guess what matters most to me is truth and happiness. I hope those two can be mutual.

    I don't have a profession, but if I did, I would want to be good at what I did and to be compensated accordingly. Personally, I want to keep growing and learning and would like to stay in relatively good shape. (Without diet or excercise of course:))

    My husband never gives up and has sacrficed greatly for his family. My mom loves unconditionally and my dad is real and smart and funny.

    If I'm passionate about something, the work is effortless.

    I would love to go out by myself and take a long drive, go to some yard sales, take lots of photos, go out and have lunch. That sounds like fun.

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    1. Thanks Alice! Being loved unconditionally is something that makes me feel alive. Something about being authentically accepted that brings life to a relationship.

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  7. This is such a thoughtful and mind searching piece. I think Sue and I are alike in many of her remarks. I get such a "high" from doing random acts of kindness. I just love doing the unexpected. I guess I'm a farmer of the heart, as I love to plant seeds of love and caring. I love living out my faith in little everyday things, and when I point to me... I found it was my chest! I'm a simple woman, and wish I did more "brain" things, but I do have a natural tendency to follow my heart. I love God's Word, and base my life on it, and hopefully would have the courage to die for it, if demanded of me. My dearest, my children, grandchildren and extended family and friends matter to me, big time. Thanks for a most timely article.

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    1. I just love doing the unexpected too Wanda!

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  8. BTW, I don't sound very caring, since I didn't mention your loss, which I do really care about, and your surgery...For heaven's sake..Where was my BRAIN!!!

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  9. Q. What Matters Most to You?
    A. The supremacy of God in all things

    Q. What is important to you professionally?
    A. To explain & expound God's character so clearly that anyone can see and be attracted to God's great and majestic character. This glorifies God and benefits both the saved and the lost.

    Q. What is important to you personally?
    A. That when my life is over I do not discover at the Bema Seat that I have wasted my life.

    Q. What values to the people you admire exemplify?
    A. Integrity, faithfulness, tenacity, Christlikeness

    Q. What motivates you to put in more effort at work?
    A. Knowing I will one day stand before the Bema Seat of God

    Q. What would you do Saturday morning if time, distance, and money weren't an issue?
    A. I would do what I did for well over two years with different men, I would disciple men.

    Q. What things do you feel brings out the authentic you?
    A. My sin nature brings out the authentic me. I hope that the Holy Spirit brings out the authentic Christ in me.

    Q. Do you find joys (vacations) or trials (doctors and hospitals) surface the real you?
    A. Naturally the trials draw out the real me

    Q. When do you sense that you are being the real you?
    A. When I succumb to the lure and enticement of my flesh. Then the Holy Spirit convicts me and reminds me that the real me died in Christ and I was raised in Christ to walk in newness of life as a man in Christ.

    Thanks Bob! Great questions to think and mull over. Hope the questions and even my answers help someone.

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    1. Thanks for giving us a peek into your life Gregg!

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