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Saturday, May 7, 2022

To Thine Own Self Be True

"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." - Hamlet, Shakespeare

A stepping stone of truth is that we should be true to ourselves, as is reflected in this famous line from Hamlet.  I like this play but I always picture the Mel Gibson version in my head, even when I have seen and like the others, as well.  This is one of the final pieces of truth a father gave his son to ensure he was prepared for life.

The thing is.. our SELF can be defined as so many things, and many are less permanent and temporary than others.  We adjust how we apply ourselves to many situations and times.  Who I was in one situation or with one person is not who I am with all, and before you call that two faced it's how God (who is unchanging by Scripture) is, as well.  It's also how you are with different groups.  You do not treat them all the same.  It also adjusts by time or response.  I was caring and supportive in relationships that were caring and supportive, but, when they left me or it ended, they no longer deserved that side of me.  Again, we see this with God, as well, who says he will draw nigh to those that do the same.

Most dating apps have some level of "matching" with others, but the basis of that match is often so general and without priority that it is irrelevant.  General in that it "matches" on things like... do you like music?  I think everyone likes music, and that doesn't even say what TYPE of music or bands which would be more revealing.  It is also without priority.  What do I mean by that?

I like a lot of different things.  Some of them I like more, and some I like less.  It also is true that some things that I like are not important to be shared by others, while other things that I like can increase the attractiveness to me in who I would consider in my life, because I would want to share those things with them.  

Of course there is the non-interest and non-logical part of a relationship... the fire and passion of hormones that can add to a relationship, and that shouldn't be discounted.  I definitely want that part of it.  A purely logical match without it is really just a friendship.  But, that passion is fickle, and the emotions tied to it can change quickly or worse be found in someone else.  You need to have a connection underneath it.  It's up to you to envision what that would look like for you, and it will be different from others around you.

I'm in the process of figuring out exactly what that would look like for me.  Geeky, real, caring, reflective, supportive, curious, spicy, sporty... there are a lot of sides to me and I... like you... need to take some time to decide what I would like beside me for the rest of my life.



1 comment:

  1. It is wise to live with integrity, as you have said here, yet it would appear in our world today that integrity is as rare as wisdom. In a way, the cart seems to have gotten before the horse for many of us who truly seek to live with integrity according to "to thine own self be true" inasmuch as we have overlooked the fundamental instruction of the Oracle at Delphi who urged that we should "know thyself". https://www.the-philosophy.com/socrates-know-yourself

    I have built my share of "Castles in the Sky" while being true to myself and living with integrity. Yet that alone cannot guarantee success or happiness (which is success), for it is a law of nature that it should catastrophically crumble to the muddy earth below in every instance where it is not built upon a solid foundation first. This is what they call a school of "hard knocks", of which I am alumnus cum laude - and not so without integrity.

    What you've written here spoke to me deeply because many years of my life have been lost on a fool's errand to find myself through an intimate partner's acceptance of me. Oh the perilous tails of emotional self-sabotage I could weave of my own wretched experience! So, to speak to what I believe is the heart of your message above, whether I choose to live according to "to thine own self be true" (notwithstanding that I may not have a complete knowledge of "self") or according to the standards that others may wish to impose upon me, at the end of the day I own all of the responsibility for the choices I have made.

    After living to please others at the cost of my own happiness for years, I finally understood that it is my burden to bear what I have chosen to carry. Still, daily, I find I must take emotional inventory and discern what is "my stuff" versus everything else. I hold on to my stuff because I don't want any one else to carry it. Everything else I drop.

    Many thanks and blessings for the thoughts you've shared. Always never stop writing ...and ROCK ON \m/

    M. ROCK STONE
    mrockstone.substack.com

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