To See or Not to See


As we each embark on our journey to becoming more authentic, I believe one essential practice is to consistently engage in is what I refer to as seeing people for who they are. Why, you may ask, is this an important aspect to authenticity?  Simply put, not seeing others for who they really are prevents us from being truly authentic ourselves because, believe it or not, our relationship with that person is based upon something inauthentic and thus has the potential to compromise authenticity in our own lives.  Seeing others for who they really can also help us see ourselves more clearly by allowing us to recognize similar traits in ourselves.

Note, I refer to the “practice” of seeing people for who they are.  I say this because I feel we are constantly tested within each of our relationships and must learn to discern whom people truly are.  Seeing people for who they are sounds rather simplistic, when in fact it is much more challenging than what most people realize. Because a person who truly desires authenticity invests considerable time and effort in relationships they sometimes assume others are likewise investing a comparable amount of effort, which frequently is not the case.  Many of us see people through the lenses of our conditioning and as a result we have a tendency to see others as we would like them to be as opposed to who they truly are. This is especially true with friends and loved ones.  For example, how often have you totally ignored traits exhibited by someone close and then suddenly realized how oblivious you had been?  We all have and if we do not consistently practice trying to see others for who they really are we no doubt will continue to do so.  We must also be ever vigilant for those who are quite adept at concealing who they really are. Not all great actors are on the big or small screen. I am sure many of you, like myself, have been duped by someone pretending to be something completely different than what they truly were.

How then do we become proficient in seeing people for who they really are? I must inform you, there is no shortcut.  It takes consistent practice.  You cannot become authentic without being honest.  To be clear being honest does not mean being selfless.  It’s acceptable to sometimes be selfish but not dishonest.  Authenticity is not about perfection it’s about understanding and being real. For example, ask yourself, am I investing a lot of time with someone at the expense of other relationships but not getting my needs met? Or perhaps, am I truly seeing this person for who they really are or am I deluding myself?  Truly recognizing one for who they really are requires discernment not judgment.  The more we become rooted in our own authenticity the more easily it becomes to discern who others truly are

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