“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.” – Shakespeare
“Betrayal of yourself in order not to betray another is betrayal nonetheless. Indeed, it is the highest betrayal.” – Conversations with God
What does it mean to be true to yourself? It seems like such a simple concept, and at its heart, it is. Being true to yourself means honoring your own heart and living in your truth, even if it’s different from those around you. God created you, and you are just as you are meant to be. By living out your truth in this lifetime, you let your light shine as you were meant to do, and you free others to do the same.
This seemingly simple concept can be hard when faced with the expectations and wishes of those around us. Honoring your truth in community and in relationship brings up all sorts interesting dilemmas. How will other people feel? How will this affect my relationships? I’ve found that the answer to these questions is simple: your relationship to yourself and to God is number one. When you choose to honor what is true for you, people’s expectations may be upended, but eventually, your choice made for your highest good will benefit all of those around you.
It’s a daily practice in my life. I feel the weight of other people’s wishes very strongly, and it has taken years for me to take baby steps towards honoring my own. It helps me to get clear about my truth and to pray for a gentle path as I express it. I try not to imagine the worst outcomes, as I am prone to do. Instead I imagine these issues from a heavenly perspective, where we are all here to express and fulfill our soul paths.
Wishing you peace today as you live out your truth. You are meant to shine exactly as you are.
When a challenging person appears in your life, it can be a major moment of healing and growth. These experiences are usually not fun in the typical sense of the word, but they can give you a chance to heal at deeper levels than you would have otherwise. I like to believe that the person is there to teach you about yourself and about love, even if they are showing up as something else in that moment. Difficult people are made from love, too.
The story of the “Little Soul and the Sun” from Conversations with God illustrates this amazingly. The basic moral of the story is, “in the absence of what you are not, what you are, is not.” It seems confusing but it makes sense if you sit with it for a bit. When people show up to challenge us, it is a chance for us to know ourselves as love – love of ourselves, and love of the other. It may also be a chance for a lot of other things! In my life, difficult people have often taught me about creating strong boundaries, loving myself, and being kind to myself, as well as seeing the light in the other.
Today, if you encounter a difficult person, I hope you can stay centered in your heart and your light. I hope you can know that you are love, and that you are also loved and loving. It can feel painful, but it is temporary, and you can return to yourself in each moment by anchoring yourself to your heart and to God.
I have written on this topic before, but it always deserves to be mentioned again. It’s so important and can also be so difficult to honor yourself. What does it mean to honor yourself? To me, it means to take care of my heart, to protect and care for it, and to keep myself safe and loved.
Often, honoring myself comes up in relationships, where I have a tendency to be taken advantage of. I can be too giving, and I have a pattern of letting people into my life who can be self-centered and even mean. I know I play a role in all of this, too, and I know I pattern these relationships after the primary relationships in my family. I also believe it’s a huge area of exploration for me.
In these types of relationships, I’m learning to honor myself by creating healthy boundaries, and by loving myself even when I’ve been told the opposite. As always, it helps me to know that I am loved by God and that my heart is part of God’s heart. When I am quiet and let God’s love in, I heal my heart. Then it’s easy to honor myself.
And I don’t believe it’s selfish, even though it can sound that way. By honoring myself I can truly honor others in a way that is whole and honest and true, and the circle is complete.