Authenticity is refreshing. It creates an experience of relief and allows people to breathe a bit easier. In the presence of authenticity, people realize that on some level they have been guarding themselves against attack. Authenticity takes courage and confidence. It is a gamble that being oneself is enough. It is a bet that opening oneself to others will lead others to join with you. It is a releasing of one’s own defenses as an act of generosity (or perhaps desperation) in favor of a more complete and unconstrained space of possibility for communication. Bringing oneself to a place of full self expression is a process of overhearing yourself pretending. You have to catch yourself telling lies. The lies we tell others and the lies we tell ourselves are defenses against the risk of intimacy and the risk of being alive. Overhearing the lie and choosing to admit it and speak the truth is the first act of authenticity. From that point you can create life.

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