1.) Being original, genuine, and real; having a sense of actuality and lack of falsehood or misinterpretation.
A few months ago, I found this cute front tie t-shirt in the clearance section at Target. It was not only the price that stood out to me ($10 freaking dollars, how can you say no?!), but I love what it says. Authentic is one of my favorite words. It’s not only fun to say, but I absolutely love the meaning behind it. It’s perfect for describing things that are original, genuine and real, as how it is defined up above. And that is what my main intention is, to be authentic. So with that being said …
My name is Caroline Madison Tullis and I’m 23-years old. I consider myself an extroverted introvert because I love hanging out with my favorite people, but I also enjoy my personal downtime. I’m not the healthiest eater in the world due to my love for donuts and Chipotle. I do workout 5-6 times a week and drink plenty of water, but I’m absolutely no Victoria’s Secret model. I haven’t dated anyone since high school because I’m saving myself for the right man that God wants me to be with. I’m no expert when it comes to math or science, but I’ll gladly share my knowledge of celebrities, Disney movies and fashion trends. Speaking of fashion, I love chic style and dressing up, but most days I would much rather wear sweatpants and an oversized hoodie. I’m a very sweet girl, but I can also be super sassy and spunky. And last but most importantly, I strive to share my love and passion for Jesus. Whether I’m writing or speaking, I want those in my presence to see His light shining through me and entering into their lives.
Welp, there’s a few things you may or may have not known about me but now you do! Authenticity is a perfect topic to focus on during Mental Health Awareness Month. It can be hard to try to be authentic in the world we currently live in right now. It’s so easy to get jealous of others and what they possess that we don’t. Whatever it may be: relationship goals, beach bodies, the perfect Instagram content, the ability to afford whatever anything, etc. Wanting what we can’t possess gives us anxiety and low self-esteem. We’re all guilty of that habit of comparison and jealousy. I know I’m guilty of it. It’s a totally normal response for humans to have to whatever given situation. However, we have the option to let it control our lives or to let it go and embrace our originalities. God Himself says that our main tasks as humans is to follow and pursue our own given journeys, not others’.
“Make a careful exploration of who you are and the work you have been given. Sink yourself into that. Don’t be impressed with yourself. Don’t compare yourself with others. Each of you must take responsibility for doing the creative best you can with your own life.”
~ Galatians 6:4-5
That’s one of my top favorite verses in the Bible that I remind myself on a daily basis. In that verse, God is literally telling all of us to focus on our own purposes and not attempt to pursue others’ purposes. He created each and every one of us in His own unique ways. The fact that He, the creator of galaxies, oceans and mountains, decided that the world needed you and I is without a doubt an amazing feeling! Each and every one of us are original and have our own God-given goals to fulfill during our time here on Earth. Therefore, we should all live authentic lives!
It’s a true fact that people are more happy when they become more grateful for how unique we are. If you try to achieve happiness by seeking the approval of others or by trying to be just like everyone else, you’re not going to achieve it. You can only be happy by seeking God. And in order to do that, you need to put your trust in Him and start living authentically. When you pursue that, you begin to experience a wonderful sense of simplicity (which, if you’re not familiar with the term, is defined as a state of simpleness and naturality). Everything becomes more clear and easier to unfold. We start to get a better understanding of who God calls us to be. Therefore, authenticity = simplicity!
The more authentic I’ve become, the more I’ve come to love myself. And I hope this blog post has encouraged you to love yourself as well. Just know that perfection is humanly unachievable and it’s okay to have weaknesses. Only God is perfect and not weak in any way, and He created both you and I to be fearfully and wonderfully unique and beautiful. He literally calls each and every one of us to be authentic in order to live in simplicity. That, my friend, is true happiness.
“You are beautiful, for you are fearfully and wonderfully made.”
~ Psalm 139:14
So next time you catch yourself comparing yourself to the photoshopped models in a magazine, scrolling through your Facebook feed and seeing all your friends changing their relationship status to engaged or watching people with the same talents as you fulfilling their dreams, look at yourself in the mirror (or the camera screen on your phone if you’re not in the bathroom) and say “I am beautiful, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made!” Then, remind yourself of all the things that make you unique, walk out of that damn bathroom or wherever and start living authentically! Trust me when I say good things and happiness will start coming your way from here on out!
5 ways to start becoming more authentic:
Ask God for guidance.
Make a list of your strengths and weaknesses. Yes, weaknesses!
Make a list of all the things in life that you’re grateful for.
Be vulnerable about your life, both positive and negative, with friends and family.
Love others and encourage them to be more authentic as well!
What makes YOU authentic? Comment below and share with me, don’t be afraid! ❤️