“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 Shakespeare
Being true to yourself means honoring what is true for you by knowing and acting on your truth. It means being in touch with who you are and living into it, because you are a beautiful creation from God. It means listening to your heart and then taking steps to create what you found there.
In my young life, it was harder for me to honor my truth. I was afraid of what people would think of me if I made changes in my life based on what I felt in my heart. I was timid about it. Writing and sharing my story via this blog has taken some courage, but I am taking baby steps and doing it anyway.
Being true to yourself doesn’t have to be drastic. Where can you show up for yourself in your life? Where are you hiding who you are to make others more comfortable? Your heart comes from God and is sacred, too. When you honor yourself by being true to who you are, you honor God’s creation.
It takes practice to trust your inner guidance. From the time we were young, we were told to trust the outer world over our own instincts. Being asked to do things we didn’t want to do, being pressured to conform to a world that was often out of line with our own truths, we lost ourselves. Yet that inner guidance is always there. It may be a muscle out of shape, but you can still uncover it and learn to rely on it.
When you get still, you will be able to hear your inner guidance. Practice centering yourself in stillness and bring your awareness to your heart. It will guide you. You may also practice automatic writing. You may also pray. But mostly, you must get still. Then, once you hear your inner guidance –listen to it! What is your first instinct? Go with that. Before any learned thought patterns or reactions come through.
Your inner guidance is your homing mechanism that comes from God. It may seem far from your daily world. It may be asking you to let certain people go. It may be asking you to do something that seems different from what you’re used to, but if it’s your true inner guidance, it will be easy to follow – “my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” It will bring you to a place of greater peace. Following your inner guidance leads you to love.
Moving from sensing on the outside to sensing on the inside has been one of the most healing and difficult things I learned to do on my journey to healing. I struggled with it for years because it wasn’t something I was taught. I often thought it might not be important or meaningful. I’ve eventually learned that approaching life from a place of internal knowing and guidance is one of the most important things I can do in my life.
Learning to approach life from your internal compass can be a big shift, but it doesn’t have to be hard. Like anything, it gets easier with practice. I first began noticing my internal knowingness when I needed to heal. Even though everything in my external life seemed fine, I was completely miserable and depressed with insomnia and anxiety. And yet my life on the outside was just fine. I knew there was a disconnect. I finally started listening to my internal guidance after having a bit of a breakdown, which forced me to stop avoiding my inner world.
Once I started following the thread of my inner guidance, it became easier and easier over time. It’s like I had to search for that thread in the dark, but once I got hold of it, my world got lighter and lighter, and I could hold onto it more and more easily. Of course, it took time for me to decide that it was real and worth it. Again, nothing in my life, nothing in school, and no one in my family (except for my stepdad later in life) had taught me that listening to my internal compass was something worthwhile or important. Now I believe that learning to live life from the inside has been one of the most powerful things I’ve ever done.
So, how do you start? Well, you get to know yourself. You get quiet and start to listen to yourself. You will know your inner voice because you won’t be able to ignore it. Ask for guidance and grace as you embark on this journey. I believe it’s the most important trip you will ever take.