Authenticity, what is it really? pt. 2

Newsletter Index: (click to jump to any of the following) Weekly Check-in, Blog, Upcoming, Christian Corner

How did you do last week using the idea of an Active Check-In? Did you think of someone with whom you can be authentic? Someone you know that can be authentic with you?

If not, I understand there may be numerous reasons for this. I know that you might not feel safe. Or maybe you are still in a place in life where you are surrounded by unsafe people. I was there until very recently myself. I had a combination of not feeling safe AND not having many safe people in my life. This combination made me feel like I had no one. I had to come to a place where I distanced the unsafe people enough that I could see the safe ones.

Warning: I need to give a warning/disclaimer here. If you are in an abusive relationship, it is imperative that you seek professional help. Distancing usafe people by drawing boundaries, or removing those people from your life can come with dire consequences. I have seen this in friends and clients, as well as my own life. Some relationships are so unsafe that distance and separation cannot occur without professional, sometimes legal, and sometimes police support.

For more simple toxic relationships (if simple can describe any toxicity), the distance can provide an openness of mind to see the safe people.

The last time we talked about authenticity, I mentioned that there is a conundrum that occurs for people that are outside the realm of what we call “normal”. Those of us that have experienced ongoing mental trauma or have a neurodivergence that has not been well supported.

We spoke about how those of us in those scenarios end up being taught that authenticity looks like one thing conforming to another in order to look like a replica of something else.

Basically what this means is that we were not allowed to be who we are in all our odd and non-normative glory (the opposite of my dog above, who is unfailingly herself in all situations, like it or not).

What this means for us is that we do not get to develop a sense of who WE really are. We live our lives trying so hard to replicate something we are not that oftentimes we can pass for at least some version of what we are taught we must be.

I see this in many areas of life. We see this in people that are diagnosed in adulthood as autistic or adhd, or a myriad of varying “conditions”. People that may have never considered this for themselves before. People whose communities never would’ve guessed they are neurodivergent. People whose communities may not be surprised because, no matter how hard they tried to “fit”, they just couldn’t.

We see this in people raised with a variety of belief systems. And I see this across all settings: in culture, creed, philosphy, faith, science, etc. A person raised in a system that does not allow for differences. A child that cannot chose another frame of thought/being. A child that cannot be allowed to believe in anything outside the accepted values of the family. A child that must be whatever someone else wants them to be despite their true selves. A child that cannot blow the whistle on the culture within their family system.

So we are taught to mask. Kids then often act as though they follow the “culture, creed, philosphy, faith, science, etc” of their family of origin just to reject those things as soon as they are “free”. Adults that begin to realize that they are not who they are.

Wait Kayleen, what do you mean “adults that begin to realize that they are not who they are”?

I mean there are many of us that have been so vehemently taught to mask that we get to a place where we simply CANNOT mask anymore. In that moment, we realize we have been replicas of a society that we do not match on the inside.

Let’s take that “authentic reproduction of a colonial farmhouse” idea again. An authentic replica STILL is not the original building. The parts cannot be dated to the same time and era of the original. It may have been built using different methods and means. It may look newer. There are ways in which it is DIFFERENT.

There are those of us who make it to adulthood before realizing that we are replicas of an original. Or we do not realize to what extent we have been replicas. Most of us have always known we were different but never had the safe space to figure out why and how.

So what now? What do you do when YOU are the one realizing that YOU have been an authentic “replica” and not an authentic “you”?

Well, I just had someone suggest something to me that seems too simple but it is a great place to start:

“Start with the small things. Favorite foods, smells, places. Favorite art mediums, favorite music, favorite sounds. Favorite people, animals, activities.”


The “small things” are ESPECIALLY important if you are realizing this after ANY sort of a meltdown. If you have recently had a neurodivergent or mental health breakdown/meltdown/burnout, etc, you MUST start slow. I know it is not usually my way to tell people HOW to do things, but this is very important. My friends, if you are in this place, it is very important that you seek the right methods to healing. I highly recommend therapy through betterhelp, my therapist is there and she is amazing. Here is my link if you wish to try it out for a week for free:

Please note, this link gives us both a free week. If you get therapy through them, you can go to your profile and get your code to share with people to give and get a free week as well! 

I will talk about some other ways to help yourself along in future posts as well. I will also be sharing events that will be very helpful for all of us in our journeys as well! If you are not comfortable with “therapy”, please reach out to me for coaching services. Check out my services here.

We are still talking about the exciting event that is coming this summer. First, I need to make a correction. I got the address for Bushel and A Peck from google maps. The address is wrong but it still has gotten me there many times, thankfully. I appreciate Wayne for pointing this error out to me. The proper address is in the new marketing that we are posting. It will have an image of their business card.

If you are a crafter/maker/artisan, or maybe even a musician, we want you at this event! We have some indoor spaces and many outdoor spaces for vendors. Right now we are scheduling our preferred charities. Note that we will have Fierce Freedom in June! Very exciting!

Amy and I are passionate about you and your talents. Please visit this eventbrite link to sign up as a vendor.

Welcome back, my friends. Let’s talk a little bit more about this idea of control. This becomes a serious issue and I do not think we are even aware we are doing it. I wasn’t aware when I was regularly practicing thought control attempts that I used to call evangelism. I say it that way because our message is to be spread, yes, but we cannot force anyone to take it to heart. We throw seed, we water, but only God can make the little seed grow. We must be safe spaces for people to share all of their thoughts and concerns or they will never be able to learn.

So, how can we change? Well, we take a deep breath and allow others their voice. Even if it is in complete contradiction to your voice and message. Even if what they are sharing sounds or feels scary to us. I am not saying that we should allow others to force us into anything. I believe we need to be strong enough to:

  • believe in our convictions and know what reflects the bible
  • be open minded enough to change if there is something that better lines up than what we currently believe
  • know that we are complete in Christ and that He is strong enough to handle disagreement and even hatred from others toward Him

When we can begin to walk in these things, we are able to be more salt and light in our conversations with others. We no longer come off as the thought control police and instead we become open and receptive as our Savior is.

This is very important because Jesus is coming back. Our jobs here are to welcome and receive people into the love of God and then back up enough to allow Holy Spirit to do His job in the lives of others. He is good at His job and knows how and when to convict us and the world of sin. He knows how to help us change and grow into the likeness of His Son, Jesus.

When we no longer believe that WE have to change people or make them believe something in particular, the pressure comes off us to play God. And we no longer use manipulative tactics. We can just be loving, praying, straightforward friends.

I know you may be thinking that both words, control and manipulation, might be strong or inappropriately used. But please consider this. When we come on too strong or are forceful in our sharing, that’s potentially controlling behavior. And when we have this false idea that “…when [others] feel that you are really one of them and enjoy being with them, then they might be willing to hear…” that idea is truly manipulative. The quote came from an interview on It’s never our jobs to be controlling or manipulative. We are called to genuinely love people, to be the unique person God created us to be, and to share the good news directly, lovingly, with confidence. And then to just walk in love and allow a person their own choice of what to do with our message; just as we must decide what to do with theirs.

Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart, lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways, acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight.

Newsletter Index: (click to jump to any of the following) Weekly Check-in, Blog, Upcoming, Christian Corner

Be well, beautiful friends!

-Kayleen Soden, INHC, CBHC, Life Coach

Published by Kayleen Soden INHC, CBHC, Wellness Coach

Hello there. My name is Kayleen Soden. I am a Wellness Coach. I love all things nature! I also enjoy time with my animals, books, and family.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: