“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
Being true to oneself.
Bronnie Ware, an Australian nurse who worked with people who were in their final stage of life, narrates her experiences in her book “The top five regrets of the dying”.
The one that topped the list was the wish to have had the courage to live a life of being true to oneself and not live the life others expected of one.
It wasn’t owning more.
Not a better car, a bigger house or expensive vacations.
It wasn’t sensory experiences.
Not bungee jumping, paragliding, sky diving.
It wasn’t even earning more or having worked harder.
Not that promotion, being in leadership, recognition.
In fact, regret number 2 was the wish to have not worked so hard.
Being true to oneself.
I wondered what it meant to be true to oneself.
Did it mean being honest with oneself?
How do you know when you are being dishonest with/ to yourself?
We spend so much time,
Being wrapped in pretenses,
That we forget who we truly are.
We spend our lives just existing,
That we forget to live,
And forget what we are here for.
We go behind petty important things,
And run after more of something made of nothing,
That we forget what it is that we really want.
And one day unknowingly you cease to fight for that what you stand for,
You forget the dreams you dreamt,
And makes choices that lead to a dead end.
There you are cornered in that place,
With nothing in your hands but illusions,
And the things that seemed to have made you, but didn’t.
If given a choice then,
To lose all that you have summoned so far,
To gain that which will cost you everything you value.
To find that piece of yourself,
Lost in the place of wandering, that defers to be found.
Would you take it?
To gather you welted dreams in a bundle,
To water them every day,
Till the first green leaf appears.
To honor yourself, to be true,
To love wholly, to stand for right,
And to fight till the very end.
Till you can say,
I did it and I was true.
True to my soul, my spirit, and my body.
“One life is all we have and we live it as we believe in living it.
But to sacrifice what you are and to live without belief,
that is a fate more terrible than dying.” Joan of Arc
Some more beautiful thoughts on being true to yourself can be found here:
Some useful tips: http://www.essentiallifeskills.net/betruetoyourself.html