Posted by: betrueblog | May 31, 2009

Be True to Yourself – and others, too!

Today I saw a bumper sticker which said, “As a matter of fact, I AM the center of the universe.”   It led me to reflect on what I see as a disturbing trend – an emphasis on fulfilling one’s own desires, regardless of how others may be affected.  Unfortunately, “be true to yourself” is often misinterpreted to mean “do whatever you feel like doing and don’t worry about the consequences.”  

That’s not what I think being true to yourself is all about.  To me, it is acting in accord with your deeply held values and refusing to participate in actions which violate those principles.  It is being true to your authentic self, the self God created you to be, as opposed to the shallow false self that desires instant gratification, thinks only about what it wants, and doesn’t care if others are hurt in the process.

Because I define being true to yourself in that way, I do not see a conflict between being true to yourself and being true to others.  The two naturally occur together, because when you do what you know deep down is right, you treat others the way that you want to be treated.  When you share your true thoughts and feelings with someone, instead of what you think they want to hear, you build trust and a level of intimacy that cannot develop otherwise.  Even when what you have to say is hurtful to the other person, ultimately they are far better off knowing the truth than continuing to believe a lie.

What do you think?  Is it possible to be true to yourself and others in all situations, or do you sometimes have to choose between the two?  Please share your thoughts below.

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