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How freeing of an experience is it to be you? I´m not talking about the “glass finish” you, I´m talking about the uncompromising version of you, the frustrated version of you, the thirsty version of you. The you that you talk to when no one is watching. I know you´re out there because if you´re like me, you´ve hidden that version of yourself to fit in and make others comfortable. If you´ve read any of my articles on Blavity, you know three things I take pride in: being a mom, being an amazing single mom and self-care for Black women in every facet.

Whether we like to admit or not, it takes (some of us) time to tap into our authenticity. Dictionary.com describes authenticity as ¨the quality of being genuine.¨ Truth be told, this is something I´ve always battled with, especially toward myself and my friends.

I used to be the kind of person that put her own feelings aside for the sake of keeping friends or others happy. That is until I questioned, “How does this serve me?” Why am I still left feeling empty if I have all these friends? I had to make the decision that while I can take pride in being a great friend, I must take the time to aid me first, paying attention to who I am and how I am in these moments. Once I started questioning this of myself, I moved down a path toward my own road of freedom and discovery, which eventually uncovered my authenticity.

It's so important to uncover the power of who we are. Mainly because it saves us a lifetime, or at least decades, of utter confusion. I often think that we´ve always inwardly known who we are. We’re simply scared to show the world out of fear of being judged, misunderstood and more.

Friend, what authentic part of you are you afraid to share with the world? For me, journeying to 30, therapy and motherhood has forced me to take a solid look at who I desire to be for myself and my son.

The real power of authenticity is knowing that you are your own savior. You have the power to change, draft and omit your narrative every second there is life in your body.

I want to share with you three strategies that have helped me accept my authenticity:

1. Apologizing to my childhood self

You may have heard of “healing my inner child” or “doing the inner child work.” Oftentimes, it's extremely hard to tap into our authenticity because in our childhood we weren't accepted for our uniqueness, and it is at those moments when we learned to conform and “follow the crowd.”

2. Finding the laughter

Life is full of laughable moments if you are present in being human, not perfect.

3. Focus on the good stuff

Simply put, it is so hard in the climate of today's world to focus on the good things happening in your life. However, I believe when you make a conscious effort to find a good element in your day it begins to make room for a goodness flow.

If nobody else says it, I love you for who you truly are (and I mean it).