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The 11 Most Authentic Things You Will Ever See

The 11 Most Authentic Things You Will Ever See

Like many of you, sometimes we get caught up in the everyday happenings of life. We hustle through the bustle and never take a second to stop and look at what we might be missing, let alone take a look back once in awhile.

Life isn’t just about getting through each day as quickly as we can. It’s about something more. Something we forget about and yet need.

Over the last couple of years, I have found myself not needing to be so involved with life. Instead, I found myself falling in love with life’s little moments and the emotions that come with them. I am connected to those moments forever.

No matter who we are, some things cannot be faked or hidden. They are real and genuine and usually catch us at moments we could not have planned. They remind us what it means to feel something, to relate to it, and to allow it to stain our hearts and souls, which most things never will.

No matter the language we speak or where we grow up in the world, these everyday human moments are universal. They connect us all to one another in ways we couldn’t describe, let alone fabricate.

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The most authentic things are found everywhere.

1. Tears

For most of us, we think tears only come when we are sad. It is normal to shed tears for the loss of a loved one or something beautiful now gone. But tears are also found in moments of pure bliss, too. Like when a soldier returns home to surprise loved ones after a long deployment.

It’s been said that “the eyes are the windows to the soul.” If that’s the case, then tears are the love found in our hearts. Some tears come more silently than others, but no matter how they come, we know they are expressing what our hearts feel.

2. Smiles

I’m not talking about the fake, pretend one that comes when you say, “Good Morning!” to every co-worker just because you feel like you have to. No, I’m talking about the one when people are genuinely happy to see one another. It could have been a day or 10 days, but you know that connection between two people when you see it. Some smiles light up every room — it’s a light that shines through any amount of darkness and we just feel better when we see it.

3. Surprise

Genuine shock is something we see in the faces of people who are victims of playful pranks, wonderful surprises, and utter shock. Whether it is an announcement of expected grandchildren, a small get-together for a 50th birthday party, or just showing up to a friend’s work with their favorite lunch in hand. Nothing can beat doing something for someone else just because you can, and their reaction to feeling your love is absolutely priceless.

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4. Embarrassment

Let’s face it, our body sometimes reacts without us really wanting it to. When our cheeks turn bright red and we feel like everyone is staring at us, we are showing the world our true emotions. Maybe we struck out, giving the other team the win, lost the big contract for our company, or fell while trying to dance for the first time. When people are watching us and we don’t measure up to even our own standards, we are ashamed of our behavior or our lack of measuring up. Being embarrassed is a very human emotion.

5. Change

Whether found in a single sprout popping from the ground in spring, or something more personal found in someone’s journey, we can’t help but notice when something or someone is different. Growth is found in many different ways and can be a long process at times. Attitudes influence ideas which influence actions, and before long we have something other than what we had before. Some changes are more subtle while others are more drastic. Yet, when we see a change in something, we understand the concept of time, as it is needed to take place to allow this process to occur.

6. Beauty

You just can’t hide true beauty. We are in awe when we stand with it, somehow swallowed up in its greatness. Its majestic and timeless grace is found in the simplest of places.

Some days, we have to look hard to find it, but we find beauty in the heart of a woman who refuses to quit no matter the struggles she has endured. We see beauty in the soft petal of the flower ready to bloom and the red veins in the maple leaf, having just fallen from the tree from which it grew.

7. Determination

Watching someone fight through something hard or something that seems impossible inspires us all. The authentic will to never give up isn’t something that comes easy. When the body wants to quit and is refusing to do what you ask of it, pure grit is the only thing pushing you forward. Winning isn’t everything when you see someone refusing to quit. No matter how long it takes, they aren’t done yet.

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8. Joy

You can’t fake joy. It is found in the simplest of things and you know that happiness — that bliss — when you see it. Even if just watching someone open up a gift you know they will love, you are connected to that moment because of the elation felt. The energy is electric and contagious. It is usually followed by elated screams, jumping up and down, and celebration. Seeing joy in others will warm your heart every day.

9. Vulnerability

It can be difficult to let someone see us for everything we are. When we are afraid to let someone get that close to us, and yet wanting to take that chance too, it can tear at us in ways we may not fully comprehend.

When we share our stories and are real with every detail, we begin to understand what it means to allow someone in. Letting others see our faults, our weaknesses, and even the crappy choices we have made in life requires an ownership to the life we’ve lived instead of casting blame on someone else.

10. Courage

Moments in life require great courage, and when we see it, we understand what it took to take the actions we did or to say the words we shared. Found on every battlefield and on every inner city street, when we do the extraordinary and take a stand, we show what it takes to be brave. In hospital rooms where the ill fight diseases, we find courage in the tiniest of bodies. In the worst of domestic situations, we find people who break free of abuse. In the simplest of choices we make every day, we see courage everywhere.

11. Love

We see love in the embrace between friends and family. We see love in the eyes of the bride and groom on their wedding day. We see love in the touch of the tiny finger held by a bigger one. We see love in the holding of hands of lovers, who don’t need to say anything. We find love in the giving to others without condition or requirement. Love is felt and connects us all in ways we sometimes are afraid to admit, but we know it’s there. And we know we need it.

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There are a lot of things in life we can fake. Things we can pretend to be and hide behind. But ask yourself why these 11 things inspire us in the way they do? In this massive world of lies and deception, we crave the truth. Those things full of honesty and virtue that cannot be found in anything made up. We are tired of living in less than a genuine world, yet we forget the true meaning of authentic lives.

We look at life all the time, but when was the last time you really took the time to see life?

Be inspired by the genuine and the real. Authenticity is out there. We just have to see it.

Featured photo credit: Madi Robson via unsplash.com

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Michelle A. Homme

Author, Speaker, Quote Writer, Empowerment Coach

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Last Updated on August 6, 2020

6 Reasons Why You Should Think Before You Speak

6 Reasons Why You Should Think Before You Speak

We’ve all done it. That moment when a series of words slithers from your mouth and the instant regret manifests through blushing and profuse apologies. If you could just think before you speak! It doesn’t have to be like this, and with a bit of practice, it’s actually quite easy to prevent.

“Think twice before you speak, because your words and influence will plant the seed of either success or failure in the mind of another.” – Napolean Hill

Are we speaking the same language?

My mum recently left me a note thanking me for looking after her dog. She’d signed it with “LOL.” In my world, this means “laugh out loud,” and in her world it means “lots of love.” My kids tell me things are “sick” when they’re good, and ”manck” when they’re bad (when I say “bad,” I don’t mean good!). It’s amazing that we manage to communicate at all.

When speaking, we tend to color our language with words and phrases that have become personal to us, things we’ve picked up from our friends, families and even memes from the internet. These colloquialisms become normal, and we expect the listener (or reader) to understand “what we mean.” If you really want the listener to understand your meaning, try to use words and phrases that they might use.

Am I being lazy?

When you’ve been in a relationship for a while, a strange metamorphosis takes place. People tend to become lazier in the way that they communicate with each other, with less thought for the feelings of their partner. There’s no malice intended; we just reach a “comfort zone” and know that our partners “know what we mean.”

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Here’s an exchange from Psychology Today to demonstrate what I mean:

Early in the relationship:

“Honey, I don’t want you to take this wrong, but I’m noticing that your hair is getting a little thin on top. I know guys are sensitive about losing their hair, but I don’t want someone else to embarrass you without your expecting it.”

When the relationship is established:

“Did you know that you’re losing a lot of hair on the back of your head? You’re combing it funny and it doesn’t help. Wear a baseball cap or something if you feel weird about it. Lots of guys get thin on top. It’s no big deal.”

It’s pretty clear which of these statements is more empathetic and more likely to be received well. Recognizing when we do this can be tricky, but with a little practice it becomes easy.

Have I actually got anything to say?

When I was a kid, my gran used to say to me that if I didn’t have anything good to say, I shouldn’t say anything at all. My gran couldn’t stand gossip, so this makes total sense, but you can take this statement a little further and modify it: “If you don’t have anything to say, then don’t say anything at all.”

A lot of the time, people speak to fill “uncomfortable silences,” or because they believe that saying something, anything, is better than staying quiet. It can even be a cause of anxiety for some people.

When somebody else is speaking, listen. Don’t wait to speak. Listen. Actually hear what that person is saying, think about it, and respond if necessary.

Am I painting an accurate picture?

One of the most common forms of miscommunication is the lack of a “referential index,” a type of generalization that fails to refer to specific nouns. As an example, look at these two simple phrases: “Can you pass me that?” and “Pass me that thing over there!”. How often have you said something similar?

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How is the listener supposed to know what you mean? The person that you’re talking to will start to fill in the gaps with something that may very well be completely different to what you mean. You’re thinking “pass me the salt,” but you get passed the pepper. This can be infuriating for the listener, and more importantly, can create a lack of understanding and ultimately produce conflict.

Before you speak, try to label people, places and objects in a way that it is easy for any listeners to understand.

What words am I using?

It’s well known that our use of nouns and verbs (or lack of them) gives an insight into where we grew up, our education, our thoughts and our feelings.

Less well known is that the use of pronouns offers a critical insight into how we emotionally code our sentences. James Pennebaker’s research in the 1990’s concluded that function words are important keys to someone’s psychological state and reveal much more than content words do.

Starting a sentence with “I think…” demonstrates self-focus rather than empathy with the speaker, whereas asking the speaker to elaborate or quantify what they’re saying clearly shows that you’re listening and have respect even if you disagree.

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Is the map really the territory?

Before speaking, we sometimes construct a scenario that makes us act in a way that isn’t necessarily reflective of the actual situation.

A while ago, John promised to help me out in a big way with a project that I was working on. After an initial meeting and some big promises, we put together a plan and set off on its execution. A week or so went by, and I tried to get a hold of John to see how things were going. After voice mails and emails with no reply and general silence, I tried again a week later and still got no response.

I was frustrated and started to get more than a bit vexed. The project obviously meant more to me than it did to him, and I started to construct all manner of crazy scenarios. I finally got through to John and immediately started a mild rant about making promises you can’t keep. He stopped me in my tracks with the news that his brother had died. If I’d have just thought before I spoke…

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