To Thine Own Self Be True

I love this quote. I don’t care to read Shakespeare, but I still love the quote. Think about it with me. What does it mean to you?

I do not think it means, “To heck with everyone, I’m going to do what I feel like.”

We probably all tend to act better at certain times than others. I was laughing with a friend about squelching our reactions. Wouldn’t it be funny (and mortifying) if we still had the immediate, uncensored reactions of young children? Wrinkling of the nose at a bad smell instead of acting as though the person before us doesn’t have the BO of Sasquatch? Spontaneous, joyous laughter, with our mouth open instead of trying to cover our face? What about when we have a bad taste in our mouth or do not want to eat something? No politely picking off the coconut … how about just opening my mouth and gagging? Would a down-on-the-floor temper tantrum be more cathartic than squelching a fit just to let it fester? Maybe that is why little kids don’t bring up past fights and injustices when a new disagreement occurs. They get rid of the anger right then and there. Done. Move on. Sigh. No. We are taught to say, “It really makes me feel like you do not value my feelings when you take the television clicker.” What if tonight you throw a bloody, screaming, hissy-fit if someone changes the channel on you instead of getting ticky and no one knowing what the heck is wrong?

Interesting, to be sure. My loved ones would probably think I’m only being slightly more expressive than normal! 😉

I think the quote means to check in with yourself.  Evaluate what you are doing and how you are feeling. Are you going through the motions? Holding down feelings or desires? Having successes? Feeling overwhelmed?

I read a suggestion that said, “For ten seconds, shut your eyes and sit still. Listen to your head. What does it tell you? What do you feel?” Mine told me, “Ten seconds is a long time. I want chocolate. This isn’t productive. I’ve got stuff to do.” Then I noticed my shoulders were tensed up (no wonder my neck always hurts) and I was feeling a little anxious.  I realized I get caught up in feeling like I should be doing/producing/accomplishing and anything else is L. A. Z. Y. 

To thine own self be true.  Breathe.  Feel.  React.  Listen.  To others and yourself.  Relax those shoulders.  Now … what do you really want to do?  Is something inside you screaming to stop or at least slow down and smell the roses?  I encourage you to do something that feels right.  Something that feels like you or at least something you might like. 

Try 10 seconds with your eyes closed for a start.

About Marla Rose

This blog documents our farm life in central Illinois with photographs, experiences, and a dash of cooking. Pour a cup of coffee and enjoy sharing part of our lives!
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