Be True to Yourself and Live an Easier, More Fulfilling Life
People define what it means to be true to yourself in different ways. One article says it means “that you will not let others define you or make decisions for you that you should make for yourself”* another blog says “it means living your life in a way that reflects your core values and enables you to be all that you were meant to be”** There is no real dictionary definition for this term but it is becoming more and more of a popular phrase as the world awakens to a new way of thinking.
How I Discovered the Importance of Being True to Myself
I never gave a thought to these words or understood their meaning until my mid-thirties. It was at that time that I realized that I had not been listening to myself or being true to what I needed for most of my life. I was married to a man who required constant forgiving, who was rarely true to his word and who needed much love and understanding from me. What I had failed to see was that I was getting none or very little of that in return. I had to regularly bury many of my concerns and disappointments just to be able to stay married. I was giving so much to keep the peace and make him happy that there was no regard for my happiness. I was lonely, let-down, frustrated and unfulfilled. I had become the care-giver, the mother in the relationship. At the time I was very accepting of this situation and thought only of my husband’s needs and never considered my own or thought they were important. I felt stuck, like I was waiting for something that would never happen.
It was not until I heard the words from a healer friend “Don’t work on your marriage. Instead just observe like a third party.” I remember my reaction. I thought there was no way I could stop working on marriage! I was fearful as to what would happen if I put forth no effort. Amazingly, I was able to do that. I was able to just observe. What I found was quite alarming to me at the time. I discovered that I was the only one working on anything. He was selfish, distant and cold-hearted. At one point I sat at the kitchen counter and said “I don’t feel love from you.” He said in return, “I don’t know what love is.” and then walked out the door. I felt like I should cry but instead I just sat there thinking what a horrible relationship this was and then I made a joke to myself and said “I really didn’t marry well – did I?”.
That was an eye-opening day for me. It was only until that point that I realized that NONE of my needs were being met. I had envisioned a happy home, a loving marriage and children. I was getting none of this. I was in a constant state of waiting. I wanted the happy home and loving marriage before I had children. I realized at this pace the children were never going to happen. I realized he was broken. I realized I couldn’t fix him. I knew then that no matter how tough or lonely the road was ahead it couldn’t be any worse than my current situation. I realized it was time move on and let go..
On the Road to a Fulfilling Life...
The story of that saga goes on for a bit. Over the next few months I let him create his own demise while I got stronger and stronger. It did eventually end in divorce. The truth is that I felt stuck in this marriage/relationship for years. it felt like it wasn't going anywhere, like I was never going to get what I really wanted. It was only until I broke away...thinking of myself and no longer worrying about what my husband needed or wanted that my life started to progress. Things began to happen and change so rapidly that I remember feeling like I was in a whirlwind.
At that time I vowed to myself that no matter what – I will always stay true to myself. To me that meant that I would always listen to my inner voice. I would always pay attention to my doubts and concerns. I would always be in tune with my body. I would “hear” the cries for help from my inner self. I would listen to what isn’t right and any emotional disturbances. I would no longer bury my concerns or my own needs. I would do a scan check regularly to see if anything was off and if it was I would find a way to address the issues until it felt right again. That is how I remained true to myself.
The Ultimate Test for Me
After I made that vow to myself, I didn’t realize that I would face the ultimate test. The ultimate test for me was when I was diagnosed with breast cancer while pregnant with my son (I remarried!). I wasn’t aware of “the test” at the time. It only became clear as I look back. At that moment I was consumed by fear and could hardly think straight let alone pay attention to what was true for me. I felt betrayed by my body. The body I tried to be true to had turned on me.
Looking at it that way I would never have found my healing path. Thankfully I was able to surpass the fear and come back into myself. I had to love my body and promise to be true to it. Being true to it meant that I wasn’t going to drug or put harmful chemicals in it. I was going to find out WHY my healthy body succumbed to cancer. I needed to find out what happened to my body, what went wrong, and figure out what I could do to help it. I realized that I wasn’t going to get help with this from the conventional doctors although I desperately wanted to be obedient and do as they said. I wanted to make my husband happy as well but the voice inside my body was so strong. It told me “NO, you won’t survive chemo. You have to heal naturally.” I had no idea how to do this let alone convince the people in my life that I was doing the right thing.
By staying true to myself during my healing journey I was able to dispel fear and listen to what my body, my core being was saying to me. I did this despite what the conventional doctors were saying. If my body said no….I said no. Each time that I did this I felt a sense of calm throughout my whole being. I felt healed immediately as if I were passing some sort of test. When I doubted myself and my decisions I would ask for guidance, assurance or wisdom. Many times I would get my reassurance through numbers. I would see certain numbers continuously throughout the day….11 and 34s all day long. The signs were there in one way or another I just had to ask.
At other times I would feel like I still wasn’t done - that there was still something left to heal in my body. I would ask for guidance to help me find the healing I needed. The healer would always come in one way or another -.like a call or suggestion from a friend. During my course of healing I was presented with a number of healing suggestions – many of them did not feel right for me. I went with how I felt after I read about it or someone mentioned it. If I felt excited I would look into it further, sleep on it and if I continued to feel excited I would act on it. Other times the suggestion came right after I asked for it and I knew at that moment it was the right thing to pursue. When I did discover my treatment plan I actually got excited for I knew I was on a special journey. I knew for certain that it involved healing and growth. I felt absolutely no connection with death.
True to Myself - Song by Ziggy Marley
Being True to Yourself is a Journey
It may sound on the surface that to be True to Yourself is a selfish act. That by being true to yourself you are somehow not caring about or regarding others. What we fail to see is that being true to ourselves IS honoring who we are and respecting our core being and thereby honoring God as God is in all of us. Growing up Catholic the last thing we learned about was how to honor ourselves. We learned about serving others before ourselves. You would never hear anyone speak of let alone teach us to be true to ourselves. Now I see and hear the words everywhere in songs (True to Myself by Ziggy Marley) and even in my 3 year old son’s book (I Knew You Could!). The message is out there but sometimes it takes us a long time to really understand and appreciate its profound meaning.
Since I have remained true to myself every problem I encounter, even the frightening cancer, does not stay around very long. Being true to yourself is a lifelong journey. I believe that once you figure out how to do it the problems in your life will be just small bumps in the road. There are no longer any gigantic hurdles you can’t surpass. You begin to move through life’s challenges more quickly. Life actually gets easier BUT you may be called to greater things. So... buckle your seat belt!
How well have you mastered the art of Being True to Yourself?
- Alternatives to Treating Breast Cancer — a resource to support and empower women seeking a natural a
A resource to empower and support women who choose a natural approach to healing breast cancer