Be True To Yourself To Be True To Others
One of my favorite quotes is to thine own self be true. I have always said that I lived by my conscience and it was not until someone I met a couple of years ago said we could not tell everyone to live by their conscience because not everyone had a good formed conscience and so they could be living in ways that were not honest and moral and believe it was right. I had to do some serious thinking on this. I knew what my conscience was so I figure that is the only one I need to worry about because if I am true to myself, then I will be true to others.
This above all: to thine own self be true,
And it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man.
Farewell, my blessing season this in thee!
Someone once asked how could you not be true to yourself. I guess that does seem like an odd statement but in reality, people do it all the time. People say they like things that they really do not because they do not want to hurt anyone’s feelings. They do not speak up when they should. They convince ourselves they are happy when they are not but the problem comes in when you can only pretend to be happy for so long. I could go on with what people do but the point is that we are not always true to ourselves. Some are more true than others. I try hard to always be “just me” and to stand up for what is right and to not pretend to feel one way when I do not. I am a “what you see is what you get” kind of person. And I truly want that in the people I let close to me.
“People tend to live life-like theater, acting with masks that read other than what they truly are. So be true to yourself and to others, that way there is no confusion, no illusion.”
Have you ever seen the shows where they wear those masks and no one seems to have any expression? You know like these?
Could you imagine everyone in the world looking like this? No one would know what anyone was thinking and I wonder how many misunderstandings would we have? It would be like the things that happen with the written word where you can not hear the voice or see the facial expression to know if the person is being true or not. And yet, many people wear a mask their whole life. It may show expression but it is portraying a person that is not authentic. I think a lot of politicians are this way. We see one side and that is to convince us to vote for them. I find many people in this world wear this mask so that they can fit in because they fear being different ad people not liking them. I would much rather see a person as they truly are because then I know what to expect from them.
When we are not true to ourselves, then we allow what others think to define for us who we are. And if we are not true with ourselves, then we find ourselves following things without knowing if it is true or not for we have lost the ability to discern the truth from a lie. It is so easy to deceive others and ourselves and people do it all the time. People pretend to care, pretend to love another, pretend they are something they are not all to impress or get what they want. When people pretend to be what they are not, they do not just affect themselves. They deceive and hurt those they come into contact with.
“The bright beautiful flowers and leaves you see on a tree is from the life and energy the tree receives from its root. The thoughts that settle in a man’s mind determine the way he acts, and the way he acts determines the way people see him, whether beautiful or ugly”
~ Maka, Ghana
Being authentic has a lot to do with being honest and with the truth. Sometimes the truth is not what people want to hear but it should always be what we say. If we are less than truthful, then when we need the truth to count….no one will listen. Sort of like the boy who cried wolf once too often. Being truthful does not have to mean being hurtful. We can speak the truth with gentleness. When people hear non-truths fly from someone’s lips or see by another person’s actions that they are not truthful, the ability to believe in them is destroyed. I have had people lie to me and use me and would be so blinded by the illusion they showed me of who they were that it took me being hurt badly before I realized what they were doing. I no longer can trust those people and I can no longer believe in them or in what they say.
“When a man who is honestly mistaken hears the truth, he will either quit being mistaken, or cease to be honest.”
Being authentic does not mean we never change. We do. But, we change because we are authentic not because we are trying to impress someone else or fit in or fool ourselves. Just like the quote above, when a person honestly believes something and finds out it is not true..they have two choices. They can either quit believing it and no longer be mistaken or to be dishonest with themselves and carry the charade on. The authentic person will quit believing what they honestly thought was right but was proven wrong. They will change and grow because being authentic has to do with being honest in all things and especially honest with themselves. Does it mean they never speak to people again that they found were not truthful? No, it simply means they no longer believe in them.
“It is better to be hated for what you are than to be loved for
something you are not.”
I was never a conformer, even in school. In college, I did not join a sorority because I did not want to be known as part of a “group” rather as an individual. I am that way now. I won’t jump on the bandwagon just because everyone else is. And if I do stand behind something, it is because I believe in it. And if I find that what I perceived as the truth is not, then I opt for the truth and quit standing for whatever it is that I was promoting. I believe we are given minds and the ability to think and we do not need to be led like sheep. We need to use our minds and our values. But, many people are swayed by peer pressure and go along with the crowd, even when it does not feel quite right because they are not being authentic…they are not being true to themselves.
Only one person can do the job for us and that is ourselves. We have to be willing to look inside and see our soul and know what we are and who we are and stand up for that. It does not matter what others try to make us….it matters only what we try to make ourselves and that should be someone of honesty and character. When we are not true to ourselves…it affects all of us and those around us. After a while, we may begin to believe we are what we are pretending to be and lose ourselves. I truly wonder if this is what happens when people say they need to step away to “find themselves”. Have they discovered that they were not authentic and are searching for the authentic person inside themselves?
We are so accustomed to disguise ourselves to others that in the end we become disguised to ourselves.
~François Duc de La Rochefoucauld
Character is something that is molded from our experiences and something we used to be taught as we grew up. Time and people have changed that and we have become so politically correct that people do not know who they are anymore. People pretend or put on fronts for many reasons. Sometimes it is because they do not think they are good enough the way they are. Sometimes it is because they have been hurt so many times that they are afraid to let who they are show. We are all perfectly imperfect and if we never work on what is wrong with us, then how can we be true to what is right with us?
Be authentic..be real…don’t pretend….to make believe…don’t lie or put on a front….Just Be Yourself for yourself is good enough.
NOTE: Mom is currently going through extreme pain due to the severe spinal issues she has. She is a warrior and a hero to me as I watch her endure such severe pain and health issues. I am posting for her from her trove of writings and hope you enjoy them. If anyone would like to send her a get well card, the Post office address is under the contact button at the top of the page. We are currently waiting on the doctors to see what they can do to make her more comfortable or if surgery is going to be required. Her spine is in really bad shape with many thinning bones, many bulging discs, dehydrated discs, desiccated discs, canal and foraminal stenosis and is also dx with lumbar neuritis. Most of the treatments they have already done on her up to and including burning the nerves to help the pain. So, as her son I ask if you pray to please say a prayer for her.
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