Your Authentic Self

by Jonathan Hilton

Do you know your authentic self?

Do You Know?
Do You Know?

I have had pause to ask myself that question for a long time now.  Let me tell you what I think.  Each one of us is born with a unique and amazing talent or skill that is ours and ours alone.  It is given to us at birth and we need only to follow it to find our purpose in life.

Life isn’t ever that easy though.  From the moment we come into the world we are met with limits and expectations from others.

Sometimes the limits come from a place of love, like a parent guiding their child safely, and sometimes they come from a much darker experience.

It matters little where the limits come from, they cause us to be ashamed of who we are and what talent we have.

These are the would have’s and should have’s of life that make you shy away from your true self, to pretend to be something that is more acceptable.  Some who experience abuse early on never really get to see their authentic selves, which makes it much harder to find.

Looking For Me

Are You Looking For Me?
Are You Looking For Me?

I have been hot on the trail of my authentic self for much of the past two years. It has been a slow and sometimes scary chase.  It all began almost two years ago.

When I realized that I didn’t know anything about life.  I was not really happy, and like many people hadn’t been happy in a long time.

There had been moments of extreme happiness, and I enjoyed people but the inner feeling of happiness escaped me.  I had resigned myself to think that this was how you felt in life, kind of empty and bored.

Just waiting for the clock to run out.  Life had other thoughts.  Events reminded me that I wasn’t always this way.

Dreams were a vital part of my youth, my imagination guided me in almost every adventure I had every day.  I dreamed of everything from playing for the Red Sox to racing horses.

I believed that everything that I thought of could actually happen, and it was just a matter of getting a little older for me to do all of those things.  That person was my authentic self, the true me. I was gifted with the ability to dream, vividly and it seemed life was determined to make me forget that.

The Cover Up

cover upOver the years the feelings of trying to fit in, not rock the boat and to be “normal” made those thoughts move from the front of my mind to the back of my mind.

Until finally as I got older they were totally forgotten, neglected and abandoned.  I was an adult and there is no place for dreaming in adulthood.

It was like knowing a secret that you just couldn’t remember, but you knew it was a good thing and if you could just connect with it then all would be well.

Life however moves in and the job, the relationships, the expectations, all move on top of you and push that authentic identity far back into your memory and may never let it out. Like you are asleep and can’t wake up.

Waking Up

wake upI am not unique because I think there are others, who have gone through some traumatic event and are shocked out of the malaise of life.

I started to remember piece by piece and it is still coming back to me.  Like waking from a slumber, you start to experience life a bit differently.

Each of us is born with an authentic self that has abilities that are meant for us alone. Some people are true to them their whole life, and some others never see their authentic self again.

I think most people spend their early life forgetting and the second part of their life trying to remember.  It doesn’t matter who you are or what age you are, there is a unique person inside of you that is mere alarm clock ringing from waking up.

Do you know your authentic self?

17 thoughts on “Your Authentic Self”

  1. Great blog, Jonathan :-) I’m having a little difficulty trying to follow this lbog. I keep filling out my email in the “follow” tab and then I approve it from my email. But whenever I come back to the site it asks me if I want to “follow” again?!? Am I doing something wrong? I want to be a follower :)

    1. I am so sorry! I would love to have you follow me! :-) I will be able to check it tomorrow
      I will get you signed up! I am grateful that you want to follow me!

      1. Thank you :) I thought I was following you but I discovered I was only following your comments! I’m enjoying your blog…listening to you sing your “found” song :)

          1. Lol…let’s just saying that I’m enjoying listening to your song much better than mine right now. But I know the day is coming when I too will enjoy singing my song. Thank you again for all of your encouragement :-)

  2. This is a really interesting subject Jon – I’ve been thinking about this myself lately.

    When I was in school I was a passionate writer. When they gave out writing assignments, everyone else would groan, but I would be overjoyed. I would totally lose myself in writing (fiction). And I did it for pleasure.

    In High School one of our school assignments was to write a follow on chapter to the book “Johnny Tremain”. I ended up writing an entire sequel – over 1000 pages long lol.

    I lost that passion though. I got older, I had to do serious things like get a job. I had a mortgage etc.

    I’m still trying to recapture that passion. I love writing (obviously), but it doesn’t come to me as naturally as it did back then.


    1. Thank you Meg for commenting. I say that if your passion is in writing, then write. Don’t worry about what comes out of it or how it compares to the past. If it brings you joy it will lead to success in other areas of your life! I laughed a bit reading your description of the classroom, with your classmates dreading the assignment and you as happy as heck. That is a great picture painted by you! I encourage you to follow your passion! It won’t lead you astray.

        1. Thank you so much Meg, you encourage me so much. I just might get a big head listening to you! I am always so grateful for your comments and contributions!

  3. This is a brilliant post Jon, I’ve been going through something very similar over the past 2 years as well. Getting back to that guy I was as a kid and even teen to an extent, except with all the added wisdom that comes with getting older. I was in a 4 year relationship, just “fitting in” and “doing what you’re supposed to do”. Finally I thought “Life’s too short, I need to live my life as the best, most authentic version of myself that I can!”

    I’m so much happier just being me these days, if people dig me then great, if they don’t there are plenty of other people out there lol :)

    Thanks for sharing, great post!

    All the best.


  4. Great post Jon! Finding our authentic self I think its probably a life long journey. I know that for the first 20 years of my life, it was a lot about pleasing my parents that I made a lot of my choices in life: what to study, where to study, my future. Was I happy? Not particularly, I did it to make them happy but then it turns out that when you do something you don’t like, it doesn’t turn out that well in the end. In the recent years, I’ve really looked into seeking my happiness. Not that I’ll ignore the people around me because seeing them happy makes me extremely happy as well, but rather to find who I am, what I want to do as a career with the rest of my life, and seeking happy moments that I can look back and say that its been great :)

    1. Kim that is awesome, I think that the fact that you are simply thinking about this at this stage of your life shows a lot of maturity. So who are you? What do you want as a career for the rest of your life? (that is a long time) I have seen a lot of happy moments you have written about so I know that is happening. I am excited to hear what your career choice is. I also think it is awesome that you are taking piano lessons, creativity in any form will help you find your way. Thank you for taking the time to read through this and to comment. I am always interested in hearing your thoughts. :-)

      1. Who am I? Thats a question even to me ;) As for the career, I have my dreams and right now I’m studying on the side to eventually do something I’m passionate about instead of just something that is a job, a chore to do. But to me, there’s always something new to learn, so that keeps my spirits high even if what I’m doing now is not the path I would want for the rest of my life.
        Ah, those piano lessons…I’ve been doing those for way too long. I need to actually do that last exam..haha! The life of a spy isn’t easy, especially when finding time for practicing piano ;) So far this month, its getting back on track which makes me happy!

  5. jon, love this post on the authentic self. Life wasn’t so gentle with me. I went cold-turkey to find my authentic self. Hearing the stories of others like you comforts me and helps me appreciate the journey we are all on. {{{Hugs}}} Kozo

    1. All paths are different yet I think they lead to the same place. I would never have started looking for my authentic self without a rather harsh catalyst as well. It peaked my curiosity and moved me onto the path of finding myself. I think that often people need a shock to get going. I think your post today about old souls said this very eloquently. Grateful for the thought and the comment my friend. As always YOU are the man!

Let me know your thoughts.