“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.
“If I don’t go within, I go without.” – Neale Donald Walsch
I’ve written about this before, but I return to it because it’s so important. Trusting your heart is always a great choice, whether in calm or stressful times. When you aren’t sure which way to go, or what to do, get still and listen to your heart. Your heart can see from above because it is connected to God. You will know your heart’s voice because it arises from that still place. It may be hard to ignore. Your heart’s wishes will arise again and again in your life in your quietest moments.
The voice of my heart became very strong the few years after my experience. I felt a very clear inner calling to make some serious changes in my life. To an outside observer, these choices may have seemed strange. I ended a relationship that was perfectly fine by all surface accounts but was not truly right for me. I went home from the city to stay near my family. I also felt very guided to make certain decisions, like where to study and what not to write a book about. Every time I followed my heart urgings, I was led to greater and greener pastures. When I didn’t honor what my heart was telling me, I created less beautiful realities that sometimes caused me suffering.
Get still and go within. What is it that your heart telling you? Your heart will lead you in the right direction. You can listen to it. Trust yourself. You are a beautiful person created by God. Trust that you are being guided by something greater. Take the first step.
Living in fear means being disconnected from your heart, your source, and your true self. Fear can manifest as anxiety, anger, depression, and insomnia, to name a few. It can make your mind race and make you wilt. Though it may seem difficult in the middle of a fearful moment to see the way out, you don’t have to stay there. There is a pathway out of fear, and I believe it goes through your heart.
After my trauma and childhood, I lived in a constant state of fear. It became second nature for me to live this way. I had difficulty sleeping. I had anxiety. I always felt shut down. Though it manifested as a diagnosis of P.T.S.D., it felt much different than that. It felt like I had a fear blob sitting all around me. I couldn’t do anything.
I tried to cure these symptoms for a long time by using tools that worked from the outside in, like analyzing my triggers, trying grounding techniques, and going to talk therapy. In the end, going right into my heart healed me, which I had felt calling out to me underneath all the fear. Trusting my heart, going within, and having help from tools like Reiki, mind-body movement (such as yoga), prayer, and of course, my experience of God and of love, all led me out of fear. I still have fear from time to time, but never as badly as I did before I started truly healing from the inside out.
If you are feeling stuck in fear, I wish you the courage to hear what your heart is telling you. I believe you can find your way out. I believe that you were born to live in love and not in fear. You were born to feel happy, joyful, and free. God created you. God loves you. God wants you to be happy. Give yourself time, be patient with yourself, and trust your heart.
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.
I was very fortunate this past weekend to have a chance to learn in person from Neale Donald Walsch, author of Conversations with God. It was a truly amazing experience after having read so many of his books over the past decade plus. I was brought to his books after my own experience of God, which I’ve shared about here.
It was an awesome experience to be in the presence of this teacher who has meant so much to me, and a great reminder to trust myself even in the presence of a great teacher. As he teaches and I’ve learned, we are all a part of God, and we each have our own innate wisdom. I’ve learned so much from him and from other teachers that enhances, but can’t replace, my own experience of God.
I invite you to trust your experience of God and the divine. Listen to your heart and follow your own wisdom today. We can help each other along, but no one else has the unique vision that you do. You are a part of the whole, and your experience is important.
First and foremost, trust yourself. Trust your intuition, your mind, your feelings, and your experiences. That is an area I’ve struggled with since the beginning. I had a hard time trusting my own experience about what I went through as a child, and an equally hard time trusting my experience of God as a young adult. I wanted someone else to tell me what it all meant, because honestly, that is the world I was raised in. I was not raised to trust my own experience, but that of others, especially “experts.”
Other people are wonderful and can be great teachers and guides, but they are not you. You are here to learn about your own heart, and create your own world. You can learn what is true for you by getting still and sitting in silence until you can hear your own heart. That is the best voice to trust. Your own.
If you feel you need guidance or help, ask a close friend or family member who you know has your best interests at heart, but know, as I often didn’t, that they still have their own life, their own experiences, and their own goals and dreams. They may be able to help you, but the final choice and path is yours. Above all else, trust yourself.
It’s been easy for me to fall into the trap of letting other people define my experiences for me, especially when it comes to defining my spirituality and God. When I first had my experience of God, I believed what other people told me about it, more than I believed my own experience. That’s been a big part of my path and a huge learning area for me. My experiences are mine – other people’s perspectives can be really helpful, but they can’t tell me what I feel, believe, or see.
I spent a lot of time talking with a few trusted mentors about my experience. Looking back, I wish I had been brave enough to keep it to myself. I was too afraid that I was going crazy to stay silent, and I needed to talk about it to make sure I was ok. The few people I talked to about it helped me feel grounded, and thankfully, blessedly, helped me to learn that it was not “crazy” to have a spiritual experience. They were very encouraging and helpful.
But they could not understand how much it changed me, and how much it meant to me. It was my soul connecting to God, and that was life-transforming. Sometimes I feel that talking about it cheapens that – there’s no way to communicate in words the depth of my transformation, except for a person to have their own life-changing experience of God and of love.
Trusting your experience doesn’t just apply to your spiritual reality, but also to your relationships, jobs, truths, and life. I wish you the courage and strength to trust your own experience today and to honor it, with love.