“The truth is – belonging starts with self-acceptance. Your level of belonging, in fact, can never be greater than your level of self-acceptance, because believing that you’re enough is what gives you the courage to be authentic, vulnerable and imperfect.” —  Brene Brown

I wish everyone in the world could have seen the Diane Sawyer, Bruce Jenner interview a little over a week ago because there would be so much more compassion and understanding for him and the transgender community.

If you didn’t get a chance to see it, I can only say that Jenner’s sincere description of the pain and suffering he has felt his entire life from feeling that he could not be the person he felt he was made to be was so from the heart that there is no way a human could not understand and relate to what he has been   through.  All of us have known the pain of acting in opposition to our true authentic self.  Whether it is going down a career path that doesn’t turn us on to impress parents or friends, or choosing the wrong romantic partner for image reasons rather than from feelings of the heart. We all deviate from what we know should be our authentic path.

I think Jenner pointed to a fundamental truth about our existence. And that is, we can always know if we are acting in opposition to our authentic self if we feel bad. That’s how we know – we feel bad – not right – out-of-sync with ourselves. We have a built-in emotional barometer that will always tell us when we move away for our true authentic selves. It doesn’t matter if the emotion is sadness, boredom, anger, rage, shame or restlessness, the mystery of the emotion can be resolved by checking in with self and asking the simple question, “How am I not resonating with who I am built to be?” And, if it is not working for ya – change it. Why not? Life is short – way too short to live a life that is not ours, one that does not bring us authentic happiness.

I also think the interview was an excellent reminder that everyone is fighting their own demons of one sort or another. And boy, those hairy green gremlins can slime you with the “inauthentic ick.” How can we not be more empathetic, understanding and compassionate with our brothers and sisters knowing they struggle with authenticity issues just as we do? How can we not feel for the other when they are having a bad day when we know they have felt the sting of conformity? We know what it is like to act in opposition to what sings inside. And, it takes courage to walk our authentic paths – let’s always applaud that bravery.

You are like no other in the universe – a unique thumbprint of God.  Live your divine majesty! For Pete’s sake, grab yourself by the scruff of the neck on a daily basis and shake yourself fully awake.  This life is a discovery of you. Don’t live a carbon copy of someone else’s ideal. You’re the creator. Let it go! Be your unique  and wonderful authentic self and be (forever) blessed!

Sandra M Bell
Author of “Lunchtime Joy Magnet” & personal coach