Wow. What a week it’s been. Could anyone have predicted this election cycle, including the plot twists and turns that happened weekly during the past two years? Like many Americans, I can say that I have never experienced the divisiveness and hatred that I’ve witnessed during these past two years. Like most Americans, I can also say, “I’m glad that’s over.” But is it, really? Something ugly was stirred up in our collective reality. Can we ignore it? Can we afford to? I can tell you from painful experience that ignoring a festering wound by covering it with a Band-Aid just makes things worse.
Authenticity is a word that I hear tossed about more and more casually. It’s a word that, to me, still holds power. Authenticity means being true, honest, vulnerable. That requires courage. It requires a mental and emotional stance that states, “Here I am. I am willing to take a chance to remove the façade I usually show the world.” It means, deep, honest listening. It means letting down one’s guard. It means being fully present and withholding judgment. It means loving the person you are with enough to care about them just because s/he is a human and thus deserving the presence of your best self.