Thursday, April 18, 2013

The Authentic Life

How does one begin

to live the authentic life?

With integrity and honour

and humility, I think.

Someone once told me

“remain above reproach”.

I wonder if anyone can do that

I still find myself beneath.

Each day I awaken with principles strong

my little torch raised high.

To light the way through the darkest times

yet by day’s end I feel the dark.

I want to be called courage

I want to be called strength.

I want to live with a steely resolve

never wavering from my path.

So where do you go to try yourself on

where do you reach the limits you hold?

Where does the depth of the darkest soul

come face to face with the light.

I think it’s in coming clean

stripping away the muck and the mire.

Crawling back up to the surface

from the sun there is no place to hide.

I think it’s in falling to your knees

and begging for mercy’s hand.

To reach out to you and draw you in

and cradle you in her arms.

I think it’s in surrendering everything

and admitting that you are weak.

In allowing yourself to have failed

you have shown how strong you are.

I think it’s in humility

in simply asking for help.

In letting down the walls and shields

and letting someone in.

I think it’s in wanting to live

and finally making that choice.

In letting go of some illusion

that your suffering is deserved.

I think that believing that you have to martyr

yourself for mistakes you have made.

Is the beginning of the end of living

it is giving your life away.

There is no resurrection, no rising again

no phoenix back from the flame.

There are only scars left on skin

and bodies that can’t heal

The answer I think is simple

authentic is only this.

It is living without hiding behind

the fear of making mistakes.



  1. Authentic life is living to a self imposed moral code and not lying to yourself
    "To thine own self be true "

  2. and admitting that you are weak.

    In allowing yourself to have failed

    you have shown how strong you are....that's the key for me here...the aknowledging that we're weak and when we fall, get up again and try anew without condemning us

  3. good or bad, right or wrong are always there, we need to go through it i think...

  4. I think you are right =) This is a wonderful introspective and honest poem, beautifully done

  5. and begging for mercy’s hand. - I love this and its honesty. Mercy is wonderful and so are your words

  6. SO much! It is as if the narrator is conversing with another or with a self to think in words, to move on and to realize that this very poem of the questions and answers is an authentic life. As long as we keep asking the questions ...

  7. Every single line speaks to the one who reads and listens. This is exceptional, both philosophically and literarily, Andrea. I read it and then read it again because the truth of it is so life affirming, encouraging, real.

  8. A beautiful exploration. When Soul-searching gives us an answer, for the individual, it is always the one needed.

  9. I really like this. There is much wisdom in your words throughout this piece Andrea. Strong, wonderful work!

  10. You illustrate that there are many answers to simple questions, self-acceptance being a universal bond.

  11. This is one strong and beautiful piece of writing, and if taken to heart, could save a reader years of therapy!! Bravo to every single word!(Social) Justice

  12. So much wisdom in this poem, Andrea. I especially love your closing lines. Powerfully written. I love the way your poem looks against the beautiful photo of your template. Really lovely.

  13. A very thoughtful and heartfelt poem.

  14. I do think a person can remain above reproach. He/she may not lead a perfect life......but if one does the best one can, tries the hardest one can, really no one (not even the person himself/herself) can fault him/her. We have to accept our humanity....and others.