"My lesson for you this week is simple, and it's one we've talked about many times before. It is always good to be reminded of its importance, though. Tadpole, the white frog need not bathe to make himself white. Neither need you do anything but be yourself." I didn't hesitate to jump right into the discussion. "Sir, funny you should talk about being yourself. Yesterday I wrote about a few of Shakespeare's most well-known passages and I ran out of time before I included what is probably his most famous line. In Hamlet, the character of Polonius says, "To thine own self be true. This is the same thing, right?" "Yes, Irwin, it is and I'm proud of you for being able to quote Shakespeare. It's something that philosophers have known for a very long time. Each of us, my boy, are unique and when we try to be something other than who we truly are, we deprive ourselves and others of our unique gifts. We must like who we fundamentally are and realize that all of us have something wonderful and unique to offer the world. When we like ourselves, we respect ourselves. This leads us to respect others, too. being true to ourselves meaning living our own truths and not someone else's. When we are true to our core beliefs and values, we become empowered. Advertising and personal messaging are, in my opinion, largely to blame. We, as consumers, are constantly bombarded with images online, on TV, and in magazines of what we should buy, how we should look, and who we need to be in order to experience being "happy." But it's all malarkey."
And then Dharma gave me a few more reasons why each of us needs to true to ourselves.
1. We are all naturally beautiful. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. What is beautiful to me might not be to you. But beauty isn't only physical attributes. No! It's more about being beautiful on the inside. "Acting natural to your own character and your own instincts; standing up for what you believe in, and doing what you love to do. Embracing your true self allows you to radiate a natural beauty that cannot be ignored. You are naturally beautiful when you are yourself."
2. Take Control of your life. "Being yourself allows you to have control of your life. It lets you be free and happy. The thing is, if you are always trying to please other people then you will never be able to please yourself. You will feel frustrated and miserable. Don’t let the opinions of others mask your inner voice. Don’t waste your time living someone else’s life."
3. The right people will love you. "Being yourself can sometimes seem daunting. We’re not sure if people will accept us or be interested in what we have to say. Often we try to be what we think others want us to be but just because everyone else is acting a certain way, doesn’t mean you have to. In fact, all you need to do is be yourself and the right people will love you." Fake love, or the love of an image, isn't the kind of deep and honest love that we all deserve to have.
4. Be an inspiration to others. "Sometimes it just takes one person in a group to stand up for what they believe in, only for others to feel inspired. The courage presented will help insecurities that so many people face, and will inspire them to love themselves. When you present yourself to the world and don’t rely on others acceptance, you are showcasing your strength, creativity, and individuality. By being yourself you can inspire others to be themselves." Just imagine a world where we could all just safely be who we are? It's mind-boggling, isn't it?
We can't be everything to everyone. And anyone who's ever tried that knows it doesn't work, at least not for very long. We simply need to be the best version of who we are. That's it. That's all that's required or asked of any of us. As one of my favorite humorous authors, Oscar Wilde once said, "Be yourself, everyone else is already taken." And amen to that.
Please join me tomorrow for a look a few fun facts about honey bees. Until then,