"This above all: To thine own self be true." William Shakespeare
Seems like an obvious rule by which to live, yet how often do we break this rule? I think our ability to follow this rule has everything to do with our boundaries and our ability to say the word "No".
No, to the job that causes us to work in an environment that is less than favorable. No, to the friend that wants a companion in doing mischievous acts. No, to situations that might compromise who we are, what we stand for, or our family name. No, to the boss that wants sales "at any cost", and the only thing that counts is the bottom line and performance numbers.
So many times we might "go along" with something that might not be right (for us)... It might be perfectly fine for others. Live and let live. But when is not in alignment with who you are, then it WILL weigh on you. It will weigh on your mind, heart, and soul. We must LEARN first what boundaries are ours, then patiently learn to respect and keep them.
I'm pretty open minded in my life, and would say that i've certainly explored boundary lines and where they are to be set... I would say that I had to touch the stove to feel it for myself before i accepted the rules that i now have in my life. I have been patient with myself and I've allowed myself the latitude to learn and explore... If something I experience turns out to not be right for me...I don't drag myself through the mire of sorrow or depression when i've said or done something that didn't serve in a positive way. I can look at it for what it is, immediately ACCEPT it, and acknowledge that it didn't serve,.. and resolve to not repeat it again. I do not understand the shame, self defeating, and horrible punishments that people impose on themselves. It's OK to make mistakes, and move on. Nobody is perfect, and we are here in this "earth-lab" to learn and grow. My therapist calls it "Earth-Lab"... I have grown to love this term because sometimes, in a lab, explosions happen....things get messy...and as the mixture of ingredients occurs, sometimes its perfect, and other times it's not. THAT'S OK!! That's why it's a lab! It's a place where we get to practice and learn for ourselves.
Shall we be less hard on ourselves (and others) and allow learning to occur?!... As we are learning even our own boundaries,.. and learning those times when the word "No" is appropriate, maybe it's ok to be patient with others (and even ourselves) and not toss them aside?! Our timing might be different than others'... That's ok! ...Mixing and learning takes time!... but when we DO find ingredients that work, yet still need a little fine tuning...shall we not sabotage it and throw everything out the window?! Time, focus, and patience is what allows something to eventually be not just "good", but better than ever before. Sounds odd, but oh how people fear even what eventually could be "amazing"... Odd to me. Sad to me.
Time tends to say what needs to be said...and show what needs to be seen. I say let's be kind to ourselves and others as we learn the boundaries that are right for us...and maybe its ok to have messes sometimes. They clean up, and there is nothing that can't be mended with care and patience.
Part of being true to thine self...is also being patient with yourself.