"To Thine Own Self Be True"

Most of us are familiar with the quote taken from Shakespeare’s Hamlet, but how many of us know the second verse: “And it must follow, as the night the day, Thou can not then be false to any man.” Simply put unless we can be true to ourselves first, we cannot be true to others.

Accepting truth about ourselves is difficult, especially to those who have been abused. But
truth can set you free if you will allow it to; it is a crucial part of healing.

How many of us have a hard time being true to ourselves? Those that have given their life to another at the cost of loosing who they are in the process will have a hard time being true to themselves. Allowing someone else to define who you are, you lose the ability to discover and grow inwardly. You no longer are able to discern a truth from a lie. For many, they have accepted lies for so long, that finding out what is true takes time. If you can lie to yourself, as in denial; of sin, of faults or weaknesses, or even strengths and virtues, you certainly cannot realize when others are also lying to you. When in doubt as to your motives of not being truthful with someone….look inside, are you being less than truthful to yourself?

Truth gives the freedom to be who you are, to come to terms with your weakness (without condemnation) and appreciate your strengths. Truth gives strength; Truth is open; it is honest even at the risk of being vulnerable again. Truth is light and brings forth life. When you walk in truth, you walk in light and when you walk in light you live a healthy life.

When you are connected by a deep faith and integrity, you will stay true to yourself. You’ll know because of how you respond to the world in any given situation, you feel good. The truth is the purity of ourselves; it resides in our souls where we navigate which direction we travel. When you are not true to yourself and you respond to things in ways that are ‘bent’ or aligned in a way to serve a purpose outside of yourself and God, you’ll feel it. You won’t feel satisfied you’ll feel conviction within. You cannot betray who you are spiritually, morally, politically or socially.

Truth is also love. The greatest act of love towards another is living a life that is truthful. For those who find it difficult to love themselves, will find it will come easier when they walk in truth about who they are. If you walk in truth, you walk in perfect love, and then you do not walk in fear because perfect love cast out fear and when you have been honest with yourself, you are able to love yourself with all of your imperfections, knowing that you are in “process” and therefore you don’t need to have others approval.

At the end of the day, you must be able to face yourself and live with whatever consequences you have caused, so you should do what you know in your heart is right regardless of how others may perceive it or try to influence you. Remember at the end of your life it is only your actions that matter. Think about when your mom used to say “if everyone else jumped off of a bridge would you do it too?”

Deuteronomy 30:19 (New Living Translation) 19 “Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. Now I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life, so that you and your descendants might live!


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