What does it mean to be authentic; To ones self and to others.

Well, honestly I'm not 100% sure. I used to believe I was being my true self. I believed whole heartedly that the person who looked back at me in the mirror was the real Lauren, when in fact, I was lying to myself for a long time.

This past 12 months have been some of the toughest I have had. I have chosen to put myself and my feelings first. Some call it selfish and others call is courageous. But the only opinion that matters is my own internal thoughts and feelings.

What do you do when a chapter ends? Do you dwell on it? Do you re read it and try to sort out what might have went wrong? What you did or didn't do? Do you close the book completely or do you pause, reflect and begin a new chapter?

I am choosing to finish and close a few chapters in my life. It's terrifying and confusing but at the same time I am reflecting on how I got there, and what I have learnt along the way. I don't believe in wrong choices, I believe in choice full stop. All choices lead to different outcomes, but we can learn something from each of them.

Some lessons are harder than others but some are required if we want to grow. Why do so many of us settle for things that are no longer serving us or when we are being a detriment to those around us who may deserve better? We all deserve to be treated with respect, love and care. But first we must have that within our selves.

My internal thought process changed the minute I accepted where I was, how I got myself there and what I needed to do to move forward. I had to hold myself accountable for my actions, my words, the people I hurt and the pain I caused along the way. It doesn't take away what was said, done or not spoken in the silence, but it creates a space for those things to be present and acknowledged.

Who are we really? Who is our authentic self and how do we feed that need inside us? Some days I feel like I know, and others I have no clue. What I do know is that being true to yourself, is key.

Very few people know the real me. The raw, open, walls down, me. I have made mistakes and I will continue to learn from them but I'm slowly surrounding myself with people who can look at me and see right through the walls I put up so high. No one is perfect, as hard as we might try, we all have flaws. That's human nature.

I'm learning day by day to feel comfortable with the silence and space in the middle, because that's where the magic happens.