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.