Wednesday, 25 July 2012

To Thine Own Self Be True

“The most splendid achievement of all is the constant striving to surpass yourself and to be worthy of your own approval.” - Denis Waitley

We all come to a time where we start to question our life purpose.  In most instances, we realise that we need to make some changes for the better. I believe this starts with honesty and letting go of our past illusions. To become aware of what is true we need to become aware of what is false as well.  Living authentically is challenged by the dual nature of our existence.
The False Self
Most forms of stress, procrastination, anxiety, fear, indecision and denial can be traced to the false self.  It is not something we are born with but rather things that we have learned through what society and family expects from us.  No one likes to feel unworthy of love or acceptance and this can influence us to believe that we are something that we really are not.  Our thoughts and behaviour change to better other peoples’ opinions of us.
The Real Self
The real or authentic self is who we really are. It is us minus the values, desires and beliefs acquired from external threats or accusations.  It isn't something we need to create. We were born with it. We will die with it.  In a world full of change and uncertainty, it's one of the few things we can truly rely on.
To be yourself is to become yourself          
Change from the false to the real self can be challenging. We need to search our own experiences and explore our own minds and change the thought patterns that are keeping us trapped in a false self and the false world that comes with it.  Instead of settling for a narrow picture of reality, we want to know the whole of it and align with truth instead.
As William Shakespeare quoted from Hamlet:
"This above all: To thine own self be true, and it must follow - as the night the day - thou canst not be false to any man."

This little poem I picked up in my readings and ramblings explains it simply:

The Guy in the Glass

When you get what you want in your struggle for self,
And the world makes you king for a day,
Just go to a mirror and look at yourself,
And see what that man has to say.

For it isn't your father or mother or wife
Whose judgment upon you must pass,
The fellow whose verdict counts most in your life,
Is the one staring back from the glass.

You may be like Jack Horner and chisel a plum,
And think you're a wonderful guy,
But the man in the glass says you're only a bum,
If you can't look him straight in the eye.

He's the fellow to please never mind all the rest,
For he's with you clear up to the end,
And you've passed your most dangerous, difficult test
If the man in the glass is your friend.

You may get what you want down the pathway of years,
And get pats on the back as you pass,
But your final reward will be heartaches and tears,
If you've cheated the man in the glass.

Dale Wimbrow 1895-1954

1 comment:

  1. brilliant post I often use that quote myself. Thank you for writing it I enjoyed reading it.