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  • Bretta Durham

Living Authentically

It can be easy to filter and enhance photos today. These changes present a view that can look even better than the original photo. In similar ways, how we present ourselves online can be just as filtered and enhanced so that others only can see what we want them to believe.

Comparatively, if someone were to look at our personal lives and relationships from an outside-in point of view, what they see isn’t necessarily the real story. Why? Most of us, to some extent, like to “put our best foot forward” and display a (rose-colored-glasses) view which may or may not truly express the truth of who we are and what is really going on in our life.

In reality, we don’t build stronger relationships by putting on a show for the world to see. Instead, our strongest relationships are with those who know the real us. No one is perfect. People who know and accept us, flaws and all, truly can care about us on a more personal level.

Also, it is not healthy for us to expect others to fix our lives or to make us “happy”. The funny saying, “I can only make one person happy and today is not your day”, expresses well our human limitations to fix everyone else all the time. We need to be self-reliant in the way that we find happiness from within first. Our own struggles and successes throughout life are a part of personal growth.

Complaining about our lives and circumstances, creating drama, and choosing discontentment doesn’t help us to build and maintain healthy relationships either. Working through difficulties, seeking wise counsel, and analyzing reality versus ideology can help us to contemplate better choices and look toward a different future more clearly.

There will always be periods of times in our lives when we need one another. Crisis and tragedy are some of our definite time periods of need. Transitional time periods, changes in roles and circumstances in our lives, are another.

Stretching ourselves by embracing change can be difficult. We can sometimes get lost in past ideas of “how things used to be” and “what we used to do”. These mindsets may also hinder us from being able to respect others’ viewpoints and accept that different is sometimes better.

The story of our life has so many chapters, as do our relationships. Choosing to be a better person and to have better relationships takes effort and commitment.

A song lyric that speaks volumes about how we authentically transition throughout life is, “I will never be the same again, I can never return, I’ve closed the door. I will walk the path, I’ll run the race but I can never be the same again.”

The way we choose to walk, run, and change paths as necessary to keep seeking to live a full life and build stronger relationship to a large extent is up to us. We are changed in some way through each decision we personally make. We cannot change the past, we can commit to being better, in our relationships and as a whole person, in the future.

Being real with one another begins with sharing our whole person; who we are, what we think, and even our personal beliefs. Building authentic relationships requires vulnerability. Living authentically, letting others know and love the real person we are on the inside, can help us to develop stronger relationships that in turn can provide better support over our lifetime.

One of the main goals of Real Life Relationships is to help others learn more about authentic relationships and balancing life through education. Visit our website today. On this site you will find more information about the book Love Forever and the self-guided course books Loving Others, Loving Yourself, and Reconciling Through Love.


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