Authenticity: The Compensation Contradiction
in-bottom: 2px; margin-left: 5px; margin-right: 5px; border-width: 2px; border-color: black; border-style: solid;” title=”selfimage” src=”http://coachmaven.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/selfimage-229×300.jpg” alt=”Compensating or Authentic?” width=”229″ height=”300″ />Compensating or Authentic?
She sits in the corner at the round table. The dinner with his side of the family always creates a corner seat, no matter where she sits. She feels small, unnoticed and unworthy. Her eyes look to those on her left and then her right as another jolt of discomfort hits her. She would all but kill to feel like she belongs and is truly accepted and it is this intense desire that will turn the tables for her. In a couple of years she will use a windfall of money to create success in her life. Her success will put the shoe on the other foot, bringing her a sense of pride and self-confidence.
But is it genuine? Will it increase her authenticity, since she will rely on her strengths to be successful, or will it all be her compensation?
He has been in school all his life and this year he turns 40. He’s working on his PhD, but it is slow going. Still, he has a wife, two children and a great career. He now owns his second home and, although they both work themselves to exhaustion, who doesn’t? They are planting seeds for the future, they keep telling each other. Tomorrow will be a breeze.
Yes, their golden years have promise, though no part of life guarantees those promises. It is smart to plan for the future, but it is not necessarily the same as being wise or authentic.
Too often people confuse what is authentic with compensation. You compensate in life to make yourself feel better. Compensation is always about trying to mask or deny who you don’t want to be in life. Perhaps you too feel unworthy, insecure or not good enough. Maybe you aren’t smart enough, able-enough, beautiful-enough, successful-enough…
The Bull Dozer
No matter what goes on the not-enough list, one thing is always true: its a lie. Whether you discredit the lie by connecting with your authenticity or whether you deny the lie and compensate to prove otherwise to yourself is what is so important to discern. When it comes down to the difference, it creates the difference between a life of heaven or hell.
You invite hell into your life when you try to make yourself feel better because within ‘trying to make yourself feel better’ there tends to be an absence of being with what is or how you genuinely feel.
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While authenticity is always about being with that terrible feeling that you don’t belong, and finding the truth that you are, and therefore belong by definition, compensation is all about denial.
Compensation is a push to be the opposite of what you don’t want to be. Generally speaking, people who push to be successful, beautiful, smart, in control, happy… Are compensating. They don’t sit with the terrible feelings, but rather bull doze it over trying to build something new.
Test Yourself & Your Authenticity
You can easily check for bulldozers blocking your authenticity by listening in you life. Ask yourself if you have any hot buttons, especially around the things in your life that you seem to defend or protect like your strengths or the things you most like about yourself. When these are authentic, such as an artistic talent or a genuine love in your life, then there is no pain buried underneath. When people tell you that have no talent or that love fades you are likely to agree because you know these to be true. In your authenticity you will understand this, although it is a contradiction, because you will have embraced this truth and bent the laws of form (or life) by having a contradictory experience of creativity or love where there are none.
The opposite is true when you are compensating in your life. You will feel an overwhelming need to defend and react to someone’s accusation of your creativity or your love. You will undoubtedly blame them for sticking their nose in your business and focus on them and their behavior instead of noticing the chord of pain they have struck in you. In other words, even when life is trying to show you that you are compensating, you will continue to bull doze your way through. Even when life is showing you some of the pain that compensation creates in your life, you will defend your compensation and seek to prove it to the world even more so.
Unfortunately the world is full of people who compensate in life. We are all taught to do so from a young age. We hide our blemishes and our mistakes and are taught that in order to be good we must do things the right way, which may have nothing to do with our authentic ways.
Authenticity in your life means being the whole of who you are, even when you are unlovable, ugly or terrible. It means allowing what you are and how you feel so much so that you enter a new reality of contradictions. In this authentic reality you embrace the awful trough which gets transformed like magic, as true alchemy takes place. You turn the rusting metal of your raw emotions in a precious gold, and you create a contradictory and heavenly experience.