“We live in a culture that begs us to conform. Through its various messages, it calls us to squeeze into its mold. It exerts external pressure on our minds to believe in and buy its opinions, hopes, and aspirations. Yet, the pursuits that define most of our culture never fully satisfy our heart and soul…
In response the world will tell us to just run faster, reach farther, work harder, make more, and become conformed more deeply. But its promised offer of fulfillment always remains out of reach. Our deepest longings are left unsatisfied.”
The above are the words of motivational speaker Joshua Becker whose message is one of living an authentic life. I have found that living in this manner involves being in sync with something Sacred – an intuition, a sixth sense, a deep, voiceless voice that summons us beyond the conventional wisdom of society, those ways of thinking, believing, and behaving that go unquestioned. The values society espouses, “run faster, reach farther, work harder, make more” are not necessarily misguided, it’s just that, because we are spiritual beings, we can never experience fulfillment by living in this way.
When we live in accord with the conventions of society, when we fit in, we gain the approval of the group, or at least we do not experience its disapproval. Living within the confines of convention satisfies important needs for belonging and acceptance, but we are not invited to fit in, rather we are summoned to stand out.
When living in sync with the Sacred becomes our modus operandi, we are likely to find ourselves out of step with most others, for the dictates that emanate from within challenge us to embrace paradox (loosely interpreted as crooked teaching). These are gospel-like ways of living based on beliefs like the last shall be first, the greatest serve the rest, and that we are most alive when we die to ourselves (put the needs of others before our own preferences).
Authentic living is not about being a rebel or a non-conformist, it is about something much more radical; namely, being faithful to the deepest dimension of ourselves, in sync with the presence of the Sacred within.