Live an Authentic Life
“One life is all we have and we live it as we believe in living it. But to sacrifice what you are and to live without belief, that is a fate more terrible than dying.” Joan of Arc
Painting: Joan of Arc by Jules Bastien-Lepage 1879
It is likely that, at some point, you are going to reach an impasse between your true self and the life you are living… or the system you are living in (thoughts about systems here). Early on, the tension is fairly subtle. You can ignore it and go on with your day. As time goes by it will build and you’ll have to be more deliberate in your efforts to manage it. Maybe you’ll eat more. Maybe you’ll have another drink. Maybe you’ll starve yourself. Maybe you’ll spend money. Maybe you’ll just watch television. You’ll find something that settles you down.
Further on down the road, though, the tension will be unbearable. There will be no mutually agreeable path forward. Something will have to give. Your heart, your true self, will not go down without a fight. At the very least, it will force you into making a choice. Will you acquiesce, or will you choose the risk of living according to your true self?
It will be very tempting to sacrifice what you are and to resign yourself to a life without belief. That path is much quieter… more predictable… doesn’t draw so much attention… won’t rock the boat. It will seem like the more rational choice… no need to make a big fuss on a Tuesday morning. Besides, everyone else seems to be living this life without any trouble. While tempting, this choice is more terrible than dying, because it means a slow death.
I hope you stand up and fight. I hope you choose the authentic life.
I’m not saying that it will all work out in the end. I’m not suggesting you will be able to get what you want in life. It’s more likely you will end up with a mess on your hands. Such is the signature of all great lives. Look at how it ended for Joan of Arc. Look at Hebrews chapter 11.
There is a guarantee, though. You will find life… or life will find you (whichever way you prefer to look at it). You will be remade. You will become your true self. Those who seek will find. Amazing how it all rests on a choice.