Accepting an invitation to Be Authentic seems like a no-brainer, right? Authenticity, “to be of undisputed origin” as well as “to be true to one’s own personality, spirit, or character”, is something we should all strive for.
But it isn’t that easy, is it?
To Be Authentic is unknown, it’s hard, it may feel shameful, or even impossible. I want to encourage you to consider my story as an example of what may be possible for you.
At 6 years old, my parents divorced. My dad left for another woman and while I would see him every other weekend, as well as some holidays, for the next 10 years, it did damage to my identity. Having a 2-year gap (from 17-19 years old) of not speaking to him, and then another 10-year gap (from 21-31 years old) would only further crush my identity. It wasn’t my dad’s fault, it was mine. But that event, coupled with so many other things from 6 years old until 28 years old, would heavily influence how I (thought I) saw myself.
Hanging out with the wrong crowd in high school, getting in lots of fights, drinking (way too much), doing drugs, and stealing were ways to prove I was worthy to be known.
Early in my marriage, I turned to more partying, gambling, buying crap I didn’t need to impress people that didn’t care, not valuing my wife and kids, and many other things that aren’t appropriate to share here.
I could go on and on with all the ways in which I further destroyed who I was. But this story isn’t about destruction, it’s about freedom (more on that a minute).
My moment of realization that my identity was broken happened on August 13, 2006. After many invitations from friends, my wife, my daughter (just one at the time), and I stepped into church. And God spoke to me. Not audibly, but powerfully and purposefully through the pastor preaching and the Bible I was reading. Over the course of the next 5 years, God rebuilt my identity. And He has now spent the rest of my life reminding me of it.
I’ve been reminded of who I am as a husband to an amazing wife, a daddy to two wonderful girls, a son, a friend, a community member, and a business leader.
I’ve also been reminded of who I am as I continue to navigate the high highs (married 20 years and running a successful business) and the low lows (surviving a mass shooting and watching our friend lose her life that night).
I now see clearly that I am who I am because of who God created me to be. And I live the life I do because of the gifts and talents he has given me as well as the life he leads me in.
While you may not acknowledge God as having put you here, I want you to know that you are here for reason. Your purpose is greater than you likely even know. This isn’t my call on you to believe in God (though I would be happy to discuss that with you personally). This is my call on you to live the life you have been created to live.
Living the life we were created to live requires clarity as to our purpose, passions, and principles (I call them our Foundations). If we can gain that clarity, we have an amazing opportunity to establish habits and disciplines (our Functions) that will ultimately produce the life we dream of (our Freedom).
I am inviting you to go deeper with me in your journey, our journey, to Be Authentic.
I have created the Be Authentic Community to foster authenticity among like-minded individuals.
Learn more and sign up here – https://ryanjamesmiller.com/ba-join
Remember what I said at the beginning. We all want to Be our Authentic selves. But it isn’t easy. There are many questions to answer and challenges to overcome.
Invest in yourself. Learn. Grow. Become. Be Authentic.
To live the life we have been created for is the most freeing thing we can do, and who doesn’t want to live with Freedom?
Be you. Be Happy. Be Authentic.