The Path To Being True To Yourself
In The Words Of Shakespeare, "To Thine Own Self Be True"
"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 ~ William Shakespear - "Hamlet"
As you read this, its easy to glide over the powerful key words, causing you to miss the impact and greatness hidden in Shakespears' words. Try this exercise to help you feel and absorb his intent:
- Read it through and accent or emphasize the following words which are in bold.
- This above all - to thine own self be true - and it must follow as the night to day - thou canst not then be false to any man.
Feel these words, physically.
- What is your personal interpretation?
- How can you begin to make the necessary changes in your daily habits and routine that will give you the opportunity to be true to yourself?
- Do you believe in this ancient quote?
- If everyone practiced Shakespeare's advice, how would the world benefit?
- Is this practical?
- How will you benefit?
There is one path leading to the steps that must be taken and practiced in order to live a peaceful, happy life. And that is the path to being true to yourself.
Beautiful Books & Guidance to Loving Yourself
Your "Gut Feeling"
How can we be sure that we are being true to ourselves? Your dictionary.com/true, defines "true" as
- faithful; loyal; constant
- reliable; certain
- in accordance with fact; that agrees with reality; not false
a. conforming to an original, pattern, rule, standard, etc
b. exact; accurate; right; correct
4. rightful; lawful; legitimate
5. accurately fitted, placed, or shaped
- Truth gives us strength; it naturally builds healthy boundaries.
- Truth is open; it is honest even at the risk of being vulnerable.
- Truth is light and when we walk in truth, we walk in light, and when we walk in light, we live a healthy and loving life.
The phrase "using your gut feeling", has always been a foolproof signal for me. I can't begin to count all the times I have wished I had listened to my "gut-feeling" instead of my logic. I have learned, mostly the hard-way, through the years, that I must go with that feeling that comes up so fast that it can be frightening.
A few years ago, I had a problem with "falling down", and my falls were hard ones. The majority of those trips and falls were sometimes preceded with a warning to "be careful of your next step", or "slow down" and sometimes a "stop". I ignored these inner messages which have cost me problems for the rest of my life. Now I always pay attention and listen to that still, small voice now. This is one way I can be "true to myself".
When we listen to our bodies we are loving ourselves. Meditation is a marvelous way to learn to listen to our physical and spiritual messages. It provides us with clarity and focus. The minute I begin to feel frustrated or overwhelmed, I stop whatever I am doing and meditate. Going for a quick walk is another way I receive clarity, (as long as I don't fall).
Spiritual guidance found through prayer also clears a cluttered mind and makes way for a path of clarity and light. This light is a constant reminder to love ourseves first, so that we may shed the light of love to others. It is impossible to love our fellow-men if we have not practiced loving ourselves.
As children, we learn rules of etiquette, sharing, obedience, social behavior - but little if any time is directed to loving the self. We are told to love our little brother, our sister, our friends, our parents, and even the dog - but what about loving our own self? When are we taught how to do that? There is no joy, no happiness, no peace to be found when we are not true to ourselves.
"You, yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection."
How to Empower Yourself
Self Love is Not Narcissim
The most empowering way to love ourselves is to recognize and accept all of our imperfections. These imperfections remind us that we are in a "process" which continues our whole life through.
It's important to remember that self love is not narcissism. As a matter of fact, it is the "starting point" of self mastery. Self love means forgiving yourself. Do that right now. Forgive yourself for the past and the present. Then let it go. If past mistakes begin to come up for you, immediately replace that thought with something that brings you joy. Direct your mind to that cute puppy or new baby. Even imagining a hot fudge sunday will bring you back to the present.
Self love also means you are patient with realistic expectations. Give yourself time. You may trip and fall emotionally as this is part of learning. Avoid judging yourself. There is no right or wrong - it's thinking that makes it so.
Now, take a nice deep breath, relax your body and mind, then read aloud the following quotes:
"Love yourself first and everything else falls into line. You really have to love yourself to get anything done in this world."
"The way you treat yourself sets the standard for others."
"To love yourself right now, just as you are, is to give yourself heaven. Don't wait until you die. If you wait, you die now. If you love, you live now."
It is not always easy to be true with ourselves. The entertainment world, for example, deals with illusion and image. The more successful a celebrity becomes, the more separation between truth and fiction. Publicity agents, media, star-power all make it next to impossible to live a life of being true to yourself. There are exceptions, of course.
You are unique, unlike anyone else in the universe. Learn to embrace this uniqueness.
"You can measure the impeccability of your word by your level of self-love. How much you love yourself and how you feel about yourself are directly proportionate to the quality and integrity of your word. When you are impeccable with your word, you feel good; you feel happy and at peace. You can transcend the dream of hell just by making the agreement to be impeccable with your word. Right now I am planting that seed in your mind. Whether or not the seed grows depends upon how fertile your mind is for the seeds of love. It is up to you to make this agreement with yourself: I am impeccable with my word. Nurture this seed, and as it grows in your mind, it will generate more seeds of love to replace the seeds of fear. This first agreement will change the kind of seeds your mind is fertile for."
Don Miguel Ruiz
A Book That Taught Me How To Release My Own Self-Limiting Beliefs
Affirmations To Change Your Thoughts
I've provided a few affirmations below which can be spoken, chanted, read or you may even sing these. Change comes through repetition so use them daily.
- I accept myself completely here and now.
- I love myself completely as I am. I'm getting better all the time.
- I now release my entire past. I am free.
- I accept all my feelings as part of myself.
- I now dissolve all negative,limiting beliefs. They have no power over me.
- It's okay for me to feel good and enjoy myself and I do.
- I now feel deep inner peace.
- I now forgive and release everyone in my life. We are all happy and free.
- I don't have to please others. I am naturally lovable and likable no matter what I do.
- The universe always provides.
- I am now full of radiant health and energy.
- I give thanks for ever increasing health, beauty and vitality.
- I am a powerful, loving and creative being.
- Everything good is coming to me easily and effortlessly.
- I accept my good which is coming to me now.
Creative visualization is so powerful that even five minutes of conscious, positive meditation can balance out hours, even years of negative patterns. - Shakti Gawain
Ways to Love Yourself
So . . . how do I begin to show love for myself?
- You must know that you have the ability to make some changes in your life. Have confidence.
- Trust yourself. Sometimes we know much more than we give ourselves credit for. Stop judging yourself, your thoughts, your actions and your feeling.
- Improve your sense of self-esteem by doing those things you are really good at. Do you bake great chocolate chip cookies? Do you play an instrument well? Love to dance? Maybe you excel in a sport, or love to write stories. Everyone can do something that they are very good at.
- Make time to take care of your body. Increase your exercise. Walk a little faster and a bit farther. Do your stretches every day. Get a massage. Get enough fiber in your diet and drink plenty of water.
- Laugh more often. Look for the humor in everything you do - especially in mistakes you make.
- Stay positive. List any and everything you have accomplished. Add to it daily and refer to it often. Practice replacing unhappy images with happy images. I do this whenever I have a sad memory of my son that died of cancer.
- Every time you pass a mirror, look at your reflection and say, "I love you". Even add your name. "I love you Audrey June. You are lovable in every way."
- Always be "in integrity with yourself". Always. This is how you become truthful with others. This is the first step to self-love.
- See beauty in everything. As you do, you will then see the beauty in yourself.
A Beautiful Affirmation
“I am Me. In all the world, there is no one else exactly like me. Everything that comes out of me is authentically mine, because I alone chose it — I own everything about me: my body, my feelings, my mouth, my voice, all my actions, whether they be to others or myself. I own my fantasies, my dreams, my hopes, my fears. I own my triumphs and successes, all my failures and mistakes.
Because I own all of me, I can become intimately acquainted with me. By so doing, I can love me and be friendly with all my parts. I know there are aspects about myself that puzzle me, and other aspects that I do not know — but as long as I am friendly and loving to myself, I can courageously and hopefully look for solutions to the puzzles and ways to find out more about me.
However I look and sound, whatever I say and do, and whatever I think and feel at a given moment in time is authentically me. If later some parts of how I looked, sounded, thought, and felt turn out to be unfitting, I can discard that which is unfitting, keep the rest, and invent something new for that which I discarded. I can see, hear, feel, think, say, and do. I have the tools to survive, to be close to others, to be productive, and to make sense and order out of the world of people and things outside of me. I own me, and therefore, I can engineer me. I am me, and I am Okay.” Courtesy of Denis2005 Virginia Satir quotes (American Psychologist and Educator, 1916-1988)
Final Thoughts About The Path To Being True To Yourself
So, is Shakespeare correct? Shakespeare said, "To Thine own Self Be True" - Is This Practical?
As far as I'm concerned - not only is this practical - it is the key to peace, joy and the ability to loving others.
You must be on the right track or you wouldn't be here in the first place. Now you must act. Do beautiful things for beautiful you.
- Treat your body well and fill it with nutritious food.
- Go for a walk and visualize every muscle in your body getting stronger.
- Keep every organ in your body well-hydrated. Drink an 8 oz. glass of purified water 8 times a day or 1 glass every hour.
- Fill your mind with beautiful, meaningful messages.
- Trim your 'self-talk' by breathing deeply and learn to relax your body and mind.
- Thank your body, mind and spirit every day as often as you can.
- Take a break from the computer every 20 minutes. During the break is a great time to do some affirmations. Check the list provided for you above.
- Laugh at your weakness and mistakes.
- Purge toxic people and situations.
Thank you for reading, rating and commenting.
Resources: The Four Agreements - Don Miguel Ruiz
Creative Visualization - Shakti Gawain
© 2011 Audrey Hunt