facebook.com/robbylarson twitter.com/robbylarson

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

why we resist...part 2

A couple weeks ago, I decided to tackle the question "Why do we resist authenticity?" As I began writing, I knew that I had more to say than anyone should attempt to fit into one post, so I added "part 1" to the title. That post centered around our desire to be loved. I've had a few conversations since the initial post and as a result I feel the need to slightly amend my central idea that everyone longs to be loved. I now think that the central idea should have been that we long for intimacy, which, in my mind, includes love. Maybe it's just semantics, but I think intimacy conveys a more complete sense of what I intended. If you haven't read my first post on the topic, you should (Cause why not? You're reading blogs right now anyway).

Now on to part 2...

Authenticity requires vulnerability. At the core of vulnerability there exists risk, which is the second reason that we resist authenticity. It's not that we don't want to be authentic. Nor are we opposed to the idea of authenticity. Instead, we are uncomfortable with the inherent risk involved. To some extent this touches on the fear that I talked about in my first post, but I think it goes beyond that.

To be truly authentic with others we must put ourselves in an uncomfortable and unknown position. We must be willing to place our heart in a state of vulnerability. We must lay down our deep seeded habit of trying to protect ourselves. We often resist this though because it opens the door for hurt, and we will do everything in our power to shelter ourselves, to be safe.

Over the past few months I've talked about this with a couple of close friends. In each of these conversations, we've talked about the risk/reward scenario that is played out each time we decide to be authentic or not. If we allow ourselves to open up, we can be truly known but are forced to accept the inherent risk involved. When we don't, we remain in relative safety but have no chance to be truly known. Our choice is easier if we have history with the other person. Exponentially more difficult is when we find ourselves having to decide whether to be authentic with someone that we just met or are just getting to know. Ultimately, the question comes down to whether we believe (or just feel in our gut) that we can trust the other person.

Often times the conversation makes it way to the question of whether our authenticity is worth it, knowing that it may lead to either a life-changing friendship or a lasting disappointment. Risk/Reward. That's all it is. So, is it worth it? I'll save that for another post.


Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

well said. I am glad you decided to be authentic with me! (in our younger days and now) You are a gem of a frined Robby!