Being Authentic: The importance of not caring what other people think of you.

In order to feel comfortable in your own skin you have to be comfortable about being who you really are in spite of what other people think.

I've always been sort of jealous of gay people who come out of the closet about their sexuality because it seems like it really frees them up to be who they really are and they don't have to hide any more. 

I am not LGTQXYZACDCMFSOBETC...... I don't even know what all of those letters mean and honestly I really don't care to know. I could care less what someone is. I don't understand the thinking behind any of it. You can be whatever you want to be in my book.

I will say this though. In order to understand someone it is important that that person at least knows who they he or she is and is open about it. So, I am glad to know about someone's true identity, but I don't care what it is. You are fine with me no matter what type of lifestyle you lead as long as it isn't harming others.

But, this forces me to define myself doesn't it? Shouldn't I know who I am? Shouldn't I come out of the closet and say clearly what kind of a person I am.

I think I avoid this because my nature is to not be what other people think of me as being. I don't want to fit into any predetermined lifestyle choice because it makes me not want to be it anymore.

There is one thing I do know and that is that I am as straight as it gets in terms of sexuality. However, I find intimate relationships between men and women to be incredibly difficult to align. Love between a man and a woman is a very difficult thing to define. In some ways I think that all of the love in me has been permanently burnt out because of the pain I have felt and caused in my own life experience. The fear of causing pain and of feeling that kind of pain again makes me to never risk that again. Anyway, at 59, love is pretty much out the window, isn't it.

So, who am I? What IS my authentic self and what is it I am hiding from the world. I think these are two very important questions to answer.

Now a couple of days later I continue...

Who am I? Knowing yourself is very important in life because if you don't know yourself, then you will have a hard time being able to make decisions and create relationships, because it is difficult for people to understand you.

We have a choice in life. The choice is to either look at the good or look at the bad. It is really an important choice when we look at ourselves.

It has been said that most people excel at identifying negative traits and that embracing the good things about ourselves is something a lot of people resist doing. I know I have trouble with this. In fact, the truth is, I really am not a big fan of myself and never have been. Self love? It isn't something I don't have. In fact, it is a good day when I don't start it with self-bashing.

I did a period of talk therapy with an excellent therapist in New Jersey. She made me aware of some things in my life that I wasn't aware of. She said it was all about looking at the past, even a perception of it, and trying to understand how the past experiences in life have determined the way I think about things today.

The sessions were always too short and not often enough for me. She helped me see that I was a human being with normal emotions and desires.

The strongest reaction I ever got from her to anything I said was when I told her I was raised in the Southern Baptist Church. She looked at me and said one word..."Oh." It was as if I had told her that I had lost a leg or something. Being the fair person she was she simply said that it is not uncommon for people raised in the Southern Baptist tradition to have a lot of issues later in life. She said that all religions place pressures on people that are unreasonable but that the Southern Baptist religion was one of them that had a powerful effect on people.

For me, the constant barrage of the preacher telling everyone how bad they are is a really bad thing. I would come out of church so depressed sometimes that it was all I could do to remain civil. The concept of original sin is something I reject. We are not born bad people. We are born a clean slate and then get thrown into a society because we are helpless to escape it. As a Southern Baptist baby, I was forced to go to church every Sunday and Wednesday. Still today, the wrangling with Sundays is a slight trauma for me.

So what is my problem? The thing is I sang a lot of solos in church. I would get up and sing to a grateful audience, on TV and radio no less. But I always felt like a "false prophet." How can I appear in church and not be a perfect person? I am not a good person as defined by the Southern Baptist Church. I always felt ashamed of myself in church because I wasn't a person who possessed all of the qualities required to go to heaven. In the definition of the Southern Baptist Church, I am a bad person. That is the message I got in early childhood, and that is still with me today. I am a bad person and that in a lot of areas. That is who I am.

As an adult I realize that is not the message that Jesus Christ intended on us receiving. To this day I have a huge problem with the Southern Baptist Church, and I can't blame it on my therapist because I always had problems with it, I just didn't understand why. Jesus did talk a lot about sin and the evil things people could do, but the real message is that you should take all of your guilt and negative feelings about yourself and be completely released from your past. That you can go forward everyday feeling "as white as snow" as the hymn says. Free from the load of guilt, free from the worldly expectations of life. It is called redemption. A wonderful concept.

The problem is, in reality, you can't erase the past. You can't erase the person you in reality are. You cannot escape yourself and trying to do so is being unauthentic.

Now does that mean you can go out and just do whatever and have no conscience about anything? Of course not. But, when we deny who we really are then we become angry with ourselves and life becomes a struggle that seems unfair.

Do people change? No not really. They are who they are. But, you can change what you do on a daily basis and make daily decisions to follow certain rules in life that you agree with and stick to it.

So what are some of the rules I actually live by? What rules do I need to change? What rules do I want to add to my list of dos and don'ts? What do I like and what do I not like? What is my nature and what goes against my nature?

Beginning this portion of the post I realize that I am not living a life right now that represents who I really am or pursuing what I want and desire. So, who am I?

The first thing that comes to mind is my love of nature. I love camping, biking, sailing, playing golf and basketball, hiking and swimming. I think that my true nature would have been best represented by being a surfer on the coast of California. The feeling I have at the ocean is when I have felt best in my life. The visceral feeling of my body, the surf, the wind and the sun all pulsing together and clearing my soul out with that gorgeous cleansing water. I'm not a lake person, I love moving water and crashing waves all around me.

I am doing NONE of that at present. Not ONE THING.

One thing I hate is the oppressive heat and humidity of summer. I loved Europe for the fact that you didn't have to suffer under that awful heat all of the time. If I am not around water in the summer, I struggle. That is part of who I am. It might be wrong, but that is who I am.

Right now I am not self-reliant. I have been caring for my parent's affairs now for 3 years and now the dependency of my father for me to be around all the time is really beginning to take a toll on me. It is important for me to oversee my father's care physically as well as in financial affairs because I will be dependent upon it in the future. But, right now, I am really not doing well because I am not independent and living on my own terms. Everything I do is determined by the responsibility I have here.

I believe my financial struggles began back in high school. I was happy and proud to get my first job and make my own money. I had no plan for it and got no coaching on the financial issues of life, but I was able to spend the money I earned for things I wanted and needed. One of those life necessities was of course a car. My first "love" in the car world back then was the Corvette. I wanted to get one. I wanted to buy it, and I wanted to pay for it. All of it, insurance and all.

So, I found a late model, rather pimpy metalic sky blue Corvette in Nashville for about $9,000. I was willing to work for it, and pay it off myself. But, my parents talked me out of it because it wasn't practical, the insurance would have been expensive, and besides, you don't need a car like that. So, I finally settled for an orange Chevy Nova. I liked the car and all, and it was a good car, but it was settling. So, I got a loan, with my parents co-signing it, and was paying off the installments as I said I would. But, along comes my birthday and my mom announces that she paid off the remainder as my birthday gift.

I was taken back by that. I didn't want that. Nobody asked me if I wanted that because if they had I would have said I didn't. Of course I was grateful for the gesture, but it was the worst birthday gift I could have gotten. The effect was that I was disempowered by it, and even though I have paid for things since then, there are two life lessons learned from these two experiences. You can't get what you want, you can only get what is practical, and that I can't get what I want on my own terms. Everything has to go through city hall.

Basically, the result is that I live in a prison of sorts. I can't ever leave because A. someone is dependent on me and B. I am dependent on someone. Neither of us want that, but right now it is the reality and the difficulty.

I am a musician. That has been my passion since I realized it back in high school. I am a good musician, without a dependable instrument. I am also an actor, a dancer and a writer. I am good at all of these things but am not a professional at them. But music and theater in the classical music genre is really what I am all about. I don't know much about anything else.

I love to speak German. It is my second Mother Tongue. I'm not perfect, but I can talk to anyone at any level about just about anything. I'm grateful for it, and I am proud of it. I just wished my proficiency in French and Italian were just as good.

I am a traveler. I love to travel. Right now, I am not traveling at all.

Right now basically nothing is going well in my life. I have some ideas and they aren't getting pursued properly. I have a public identity and my pride prevents me to working in unrelated areas. I love the fact that I know so many people in town, but this also sort of limits me in doing some things that I would like to do because of "WHAT I THINK PEOPLE THINK OF ME." If I didn't have people who knew me around me, then I would be free to do things outside of the role I play within this society. Or would I? That is the question. Would I not be the same person when nobody would know who I was 'before'?

Right now I am stuck. It doesn't appear I can move forward and I certainly cannot go back. Those bridges are burned, those doors are shut, that life is gone, forever. I am talking about professionally, obviously there are people from my past that I dearly love and am grateful for and value. I just don't have any way to get back to visit them right now. I am STUCK here.

Looking forward I want to become an Entrepreneur. I want to build businesses not only because it is the only way I can make decent money, but also because I would then be able to create what I think the world needs and wants going forward.

Being FREE is something I have always wanted and at times felt. Right now there is nothing about my life that is free.

I have talked about this in my masterminds, but I think I have to finally come out of the closet and confess my belief and love of the internet marketing affiliate and network marketing paths to wealth building.

For good reasons people are often skeptical of network marketing, multi level marketing mlm, or referral marketing in general. Why? Because most people believe that the only way to make a living is by earning wages from doing a job.

Realistically speaking, getting a job for me in my professional field is not possible now, for many reasons, mostly because my voice isn't dependable, but also because of age and not having the right resume. Let's be honest, the academic world doesn't accept professionals in it, it is made up of academics. As a professional musician it is incredible to me that academics shun professionals in the world of education. There is no comparison to the world of professional music and academia. But, unless you have actually been in it, it would be hard to grasp. I know that the professionals who came into academia that I experienced had great difficulty being understood in that environment. The professional world is real. It is hard. It is great fun. It is energetic and aggressive. It is all about performance, doing, and captivating an audience. The academic world is best described as an "ology" or "the study of". Academia is a great thing, don't get me wrong about this. I love it. But, it is about doing things that are deemed correct because it says it in some book or is considered accurate. Musically it is more about getting all the parts right but ignoring the entire thing. "Oh, that trill was not started right according to the performance practice of the day."  Well, no normal person knows or cares about that. It doesn't determine the success or failure of a performance. Now, having said that is it probably better to do it the academic way? Yes, but it is only a servant to the performance, it isn't the performance.

So with my professional career, I have not only lost my income, but also many of my closest friends and colleagues and my entire lifestyle of traveling and performing.

What can I do to fill this gaping hole in my life? Well, the answer for me is to be an entrepreneur and build businesses.

My motto is "Do what you love. Monetize what you do."

So aside from the above, what do I love doing?

Writing. I love to write. So, if I love writing, then according to my motto, how do I monetize my writing? Blogging is one way I like because I can blog on whatever I want to.

Broadcasting. I love to be on camera and do audio recordings. So, if I love doing these things, who do I monetize it?

The thing is that right now, I have to find a way to monetize everything I am trying to do. All I have to do is earn enough to be self-reliant, make a profit and be able to do the things that make me happy.

I don't believe in the state of happiness, I believe in doing things that make you happy. Yes, there is the calm state of satori, meditation, and spirituality, but still, those things you can only get to when you DO them. The idea that you can just sit and be happy isn't true. If you want ot sit and be happy, you will have to meditate to get there. That is still doing.

Well, that is about it for now. I'll continue this later.