Do most people want to be authentic or do we prefer pretending to be perfect, happy and easygoing? If the accepted behavior is one of cheerfulness and security, should we break out of that mold and be truthful and honest? Should we pretend, regardless of the truth that lies underneath it all? The closest I have come to being authentic is in writing this blog and let me tell you it is full of difficulties. The insecurities that arise and the fear that shows up could keep anyone sane from posting (lucky you I am not sane). Yes, I am getting positive feedback. The readers are enjoying the honesty but it is “my” honesty, “my” stories, “my” vulnerabilities and “my” insecurities. I am putting myself out there for all to see and that is scary but what I have noticed is that the stories I tell might be different but all of us share the same feelings. We all share the same insecurities and fears. The only difference are the tales we tell about those things. As soon as we can recognize that we are more alike than different the sooner we will be able to enjoy the world and the people in it. We have an opportunity to embrace each other in all of our vulnerabilities and fears because we are all the same and we all want the same things. No matter how tough, shy, conceited or confident we appear to others. We all want to be loved, to be accepted and to be told that we are ok just the way we are. Once I was able to see this I was able to notice more love in the world. The perceived threats I feel from the outside come from the same feelings I feel on the inside. When a friend lashes out at me, it is an opportunity for me to recognize that she feels threatened and rather than reject her for it with my own hurt ego I can embrace her and love her because I know how it feels. Because I am her and she is me and the only difference is in the stories we tell.
Rabbi Esther Azar