November 20, 2012 - 2 comments

“Be Authentic!” Oh No!

“Authentic” and my Inner First Grade Teacher – that Dragon of a Woman!

“Authentic” is a scary word for me. It stands there in my emotional body like an old wrinkled-up woman, looking very much like my first grade teacher and judging every sentence I write.

“This isn’t authentic; you only think it is. That’s not authentic either; it’s just pure stupid. Who do you think you are wanting to be authentic, and who would want to listen to what you have to say anyway?“ is how she usually starts in on me.

“’Authentic’ is for real writers you know,” she continues.

“And by the way, there are enough authentic people out there already, in the social web, they certainly don’t need you. You will always limp far behind them in authenticity; after all, many of them have been blogging for years. I would suggest you don’t even start in the first place. You will simply be wasting your time and everybody else’s.” Aaarrgghhh …

I have to conjure my awareness muscles, stand straight in myself and fight  this terror of an inner schoolteacher of mine:

“Look. I appreciate you wanting to protect me from shame and blame but, you know, your perspective is very limited and your days of being my first grade teacher are over, once and for all! Your perception of who I am is falling short; it does not include any joy or vibrancy. I Western union locations suggest you take a break. You have been working so very hard for so many years; you deserve a holiday at a sunny beach on a Caribbean island.”

“You’re going to get into a lot of trouble. People are going to ridicule you,” she says.

“Well if they do, let me handle it while you drink a margarita on the beach.”

“I don’t drink,” she responds.

” You can have a virgin margarita”, I tell her.

“I have never been at the beach,” she insists.

“You will like it,” I say.

”You’re sure you’re going to be okay without me?” she asks.

“Well, if I am not, you are such a magician that I am sure I can call you back from the beach anytime in a split second,” I tell her firmly.

“Hmmm… the beach is too scary for me, but I will take a stroll around my village. I have wanted to do that for a long time.” And off she goes strutting down the streets of my past.

So here I am with a break from my inner dragon and suddenly I don’t really know what to say. I’m so used to being scrutinized by her that I don’t quite know what to do with untied hands. I sit and wait, listening to the crickets in the distance.  The longer I sit and wait, the happier I get. Maybe there is not that much to say. Maybe being authentic in my case is being quite still. Maybe it was that inner schoolteacher that made me think I had to be special and  save the world. I don’t have to do that. Let me just listen to the crickets and be quiet; think about life with kindness and relax.

Published by: lela iselin in Not So Typical Travel Blog


barbara Meyer-Stürzel
January 5, 2013 at 12:46 pm

Du sprichst mir aus dem Herzen und ich freu mich, dass ich endlich per “Zu-Fall” auf all Deine Internetseiten gestossen bin. Ich fühle mich Dir sehr nah – danke !

    lela iselin
    January 23, 2013 at 1:56 pm

    Das freut mich Barbara!

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