One of my birthday presents this year was a beautiful little picture that includes the phrase ‘to thine own self be true’. It is something I look at often because it is so pretty but also because I like to remind myself of those words.
I know it can mean different things to different people. But for me we are so often playing a part in life that we can lose sight of our real selves. Most people have a number of hats they have to wear during their life; son or daughter, sister, brother, mother, father, student, and worker. The list is endless and we can categorise ourselves in many ways. Often we adapt to fit into roles or we suppress part of our personality. I accept that may happen but we have to really know ourselves as well.
In the rush of doing things – working, sleeping, time at home, and taking part in hobbies – we can lose sight of who we really are. For many we never take the time to connect with our thoughts, feelings and beliefs.
There was an article in a newspaper today that was talking about ‘meternity’ leave. The idea being that childless people are given the chance to some months off work in order to reconsider their lives in the way that apparently many people do when they have time off after having children. I am sure it will spark many debates around the country. It is an interesting idea but actually we should all be making time to understand who we are on a regular basis.
We need to prioritise knowing what matters to us, what is important and why. It is what we can keep at the forefront of our minds when we are being challenged in whatever way. When people are trying to make us something else, or are putting us under pressure, it is essential to be able to connect with our core values and beliefs.
I have many labels that can be attached to me. If people want to do that it is their issue. I will keep looking at that picture and making sure I keep my priorities and beliefs at the centre of everything I do.