"To Thine Own Self Be True…"

“… and it must follow, as the night the day, thou canst not then be false to any man.”
– William Shakespeare

This quote kept spinning through my head this morning as I went on a long run through Golden Gate Park.   Lately more than ever, it’s been dawning on me that life is too short and too precious for any of us to compromise the things we truly love to appease others.  For me, this quote extends itself to everything – the clothes I wear, the music I listen to, the shows I go to, the food I eat, the work I put forth, the money I spend, the people I surround myself with, etc.

We all need to be honest with ourselves – and when I say this, I mean that we all need to do the things we like, not because we sense that someone else might like us more for liking it.  I am done with caring about everyone else and am ready to truly start living actively for me.  This means not apologizing for liking techno or electronica music, it means not sucking it up to hang out with people that I only half-like, it means not saying “yes” all the time.  It means making myself a priority – and NEVER apologizing for it to anyone.

I look at what I just wrote and it all seems so simple, doesn’t it?  Like this is all a “no duh” statement.  Yet, I’m really curious how many of us out there are actively living this way?

I dunno.  A clear example of being true to yourself, for me, is the food that I eat.  For so long, I’ve been operating under the mantra of “you are what you eat” and whenever I decide to put something in my body, I am consciously aware of the effect it will have on my body, my mind, my spirit, my digestive track.  Yet, whenever I eat something in front of other people that’s considered “healthy”, I get the whole, “Oh, Katie, you’re so good” or “Man, you’re so healthy”.  While I do take this as a compliment, I can’t help but feel a bit defensive.  Like, “Hi, umm… I eat this because I actually like this kind of food… I crave healthy because I’ve been eating it for so long… so what’s your point?” 

LOL, okay, I guess my point with the previous call-out is that I’m being true to myself, my cravings, the things I choose to nourish myself with every time I consume something.  And if I were to just stop doing this because everyone around me doesn’t possess the will-power or the mindfulness to be aware of the things they’re eating, then I’d be sorely unhappy.

And so, I live this day, and all days ahead, actively conscious of “to thine own self be true”, because as soon as I compromise for somebody else, I’m denying my true self of the things that I want.  And what’s the point of living if you’re living for somebody else?

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