This discussion makes me think about being authentic. I had heard about authenticity many years ago, and hadn't realized how far away form my real self I had strayed. How much I'd been listening to other people, allowing them to sway me from my course. I think people speak from their own fears sometimes. I find that I am very easily touched by others' emotional spaces, and I have to be careful in remembering what is my stuff and what is not. When I listen to my heart, I am never off. When I listen to other people, sometimes I do fine, and sometimes not. It depends on what I am resonating with, and whether or not it is useful to me.
Sometimes I can get caught in the frenzy of others, and that is definitely not the authentic me. I have learned that saying "no" to the frenzy that is others is quite useful. It is one of the reasons why I rarely watch the news. Things that I need to know make themselves known to me, but I refuse to buy in to the drama that the media seems to sell. As for people closer to home, I have to continually ask myself, "Why did they say that? Is it me, or them?" Then, I reflect on my part, and then release it. I have gotten much better as trusting myself. It is when I stop trusting myself that I seem to get myself in trouble. If my awareness stays on my connection with my aumakua, to the Divine, then the voice is the one to listen to. If something stirs fears or doubts in me, then I stop listening. I ask to be redirected to the positive of the experience, and that seems to help. I try to do this whenever I find a feeling of resistance, based upon what someone else has said. I am an extremely empathetic person, but have learned to allow that to be helpful, not troublesome. This way, I can remain compassionate to others, and still be true to myself.
Something my husband says when I lament about some decision I'd made in the past is, "Shoulda, coulda, woulda! Don't go there!" Simple but effective advice.
Silverdeer, you are on a roll! Let it propel you forward toward your most incredible, wonderful life! You deserve nothing less!