To thine own self

June 28, 2015

to thine own selfThe other day, one of my nephews sent me a card that I treasure. In it he quoted something I had said about true happiness only coming from living an authentic life.  Being who we are at our core. Or, as Edgar Cayce put it, “To thine own self be true.”

It made me think about living authentically, and why people don’t.

It’s way easier to be authentic when you’re older and by that I mean over 50.  By then, most of us have learned that being anything but true to ourselves gets us nowhere. Or, maybe we’re just too tired to put up any pretense.

When we’re younger, way too often we’re still managing impressions of us, trying–at any cost– to not let others see the insecurities in the person behind the curtain.

Or we’re afraid to be our true selves. We are afraid that if people really see us, they won’t like who we are. They won’t approve. They’ll reject us.

Judgment features strongly in our Judeo-Christian society and it can make us insecure about being who we are. Who wants to be judged by another and found lacking?

No one.

Only one reason to do anything_But with any luck (and a whole lot of work on ourselves), by the time we get to midlife, we’ve become more secure in ourselves and ok with letting the world behind the curtain. We see that living a life to please others won’t fulfill us. We can’t live our purpose if we’re living someone else’s view of it.

It’s true that some of us are still tormented by insecurities and unable to be true to ourselves, not entirely.

I think, though, that all it takes is one step.  And after you’ve taken that one step out? Take another.

Be yourself. No apologies.

Because what you’ll find is that the judgment of others just doesn’t matter. Not at all.

You’re perfectly ok just the way you are. How could you not be? You are a creation of the Divine, and Mother/Father God makes no mistakes..



18 comments on “To thine own self
  1. This is something I have worked on all my life, but I’m finding it is just getting easier with age.

  2. Laura Ehlers says:

    So true Carol. I remember having a talk with each of our children around their middle school years. Each time it would be about the struggle to be ‘popular’ which usually meant involvement in an activity (soccer, dance, etc) which they really didn’t want to participate in but felt was needed to remain ‘in the group’. It is not easy to advise your own child to take the more difficult path but I presented them with two scenarios – you join the team, be miserable or discover you like it – or you choose what you know in your heart is what you want, no matter what everyone else thinks. For my son, this meant choosing to NOT join a soccer team- he never did enjoy team competition – and it gave him the permission he wanted to begin being his own person.
    Being authentic is not always the easiest choice. But as you have pointed out, it is certainly the best way to find yourself living a happy life.

  3. T.O. Weller says:

    Carol, well said!
    Surprisingly, or maybe not so surprisingly, we’ve faced quite a bit of judgement over our decision to move and reinvent our lives. Some family members have actually shunned us.
    There are times when I want to rail against them — how can it be? Why is it offensive to them that we are pursuing our authentic happiness?!?
    But, you’re right. Apologies … or anger … neither is necessary or productive.

    • I’m reminded over and over that many people simply do not think through their opinions and comments. They’re not self-reflective and while they are more than willing to judge others, they are incapable of self-assessment. I hate being disappointed in people who behave like humans, and it just happened to me recently. I had to remember that they’re just being human. Pursue your own dreams, let others say what they will.

  4. Diane says:

    Oh! I love that! . . . a creation of the Divine . . .
    Beautifully written!

  5. Jennifer says:

    One of the profound joys of getting older! I slip on occaision, and wonder if it’s a female thing, a manners thing or insecuity.

  6. Amy says:

    Wonderful post! Yes, we need to be authentic. I’m learning that, finally. I doing what I love to do for a living, I’m spending time with people I enjoy. I’m seeking out new opportunities that make my heart sing. Enough of pleasing other people; it’s all about pleasing myself now. That’s not to say I’ve turned into a selfish snob. I’m just taking care of myself now in order to be a better person all around. I think this will enhance my friendships, work, and home life. Take care!

  7. Rebecca Swenor says:

    This is an awesome inspiring post indeed and I love what you said “We can’t live our purpose if we’re living someone else’s view of it.” This is so true and we need to be fair to ourselves. We truly are all amazing in every way. Thanks for sharing.

  8. Carolann says:

    So very true – there is a lot that I care about less now that I’m “older”. I still need some work though…it’s tough dealing with humans lol. When it comes down it though, you are exactly correct – from the divine we come and we are perfect in our oneness. It’s this darn ego that’s tough letting go of. It’s a daily challenge!

  9. Lana says:

    Very interesting – and quite timely for me. My husband and I attended our 30th high school reunion last night, and it was quite clear which people were being themselves, and who were still worried about others and trying to make a certain impression. I was so surprised that people were still falling back into that “teenage” habit.

  10. Elizabeth O. says:

    I love the quotes and this is a great post. I agree being your true self is easier when you are older.

  11. It is so true that we can only be happy when we are living as our true selves. Caring too much about what other people think is a toxic, slippery slope.

  12. John Lopez says:

    Such a great post. Very inspirational quotes it easier when you are young thanks for inspiring me

  13. With age comes wisdom. I am thankful for God’s wisdom to help me understand that it is not my role to judge, but to love.

    I hope the Christian community understands that not-judging is not the same thing as accepting as truth. Jesus loved without judging, every. single. time. He is perfect. I am not — but I’m working on it.

  14. Liz Mays says:

    I think the older I get the easier it is to say screw what everyone else thinks, this is what I want and who I am.

  15. Esther says:

    Authenticity is exactly what is missing in today’s world. Everyone has so many great qualities but yet they don’t show them or express them because they are trying to be someone they are not. They are just perfect and special just the way they are.

  16. rocky says:

    I love this post! very inspiring and thanks for sharing…

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