Friday, May 26, 2017

To My Own Self be True

I started participating in the 12 step program of the church I guess to try and find some deeper insights into me and why I'm me.

The fourth step is "Truth"
I have been reflecting on this step for several weeks and one of the first thoughts that came into my mind was a conversation I had with an adopted Grand Pa many years ago. He was sharing an experience with me about how he came to know God.  The one thing that stuck with me all these years was when he looked me right in the eye and said "I know truth when I hear it."
I remember telling him, so do I, so do I.

But today a friend made a comment that we all have our own journey here and there are times we just have to let go and focus on those who matter the most,
As she was sharing her insights with me the thought ran through my mind
"To Thine Own Self Be True" and I knew what thought I wanted to share.

My whole life I have found myself trying to be what others expected me to be.
I so desperately wanted to be a part and not be so "different."
Ever since I can remember I was labeled as the "different one."
But in trying to be what others expected me to be took me down a dark rabbit hole which brought me much pain and sorrow.

And I found myself so very alone.

I found a BYU Devotional entitled "To Thine Own Self Be True "
given by Sister Bateman, Sept 9, 1997.

This comment jumped out at me:

"Each of us is unique and in our own special way different from everyone else.
We have been given gifts and talents by the Spirit of God that makes us distinctly who we are.
As we share our talent with others, we bless them--and they bless us with their gifts..."

She then went on to share these thoughts,

"our daughter, Michele, has an egg collection.  I am amazed at the variety of eggs she has assembled.  I find the variety and uniqueness of each egg intriguing...Each egg is different from the rest, but each is appealing in its own way.  I have often thought how like people her eggs are.  We are all children of our Heavenly Father, yet, like the eggs, we are different from one another--different in size and shape; different in coloring; different in decorativeness and in plainness.  Some of us are hard and others fragile.  Some people, like some eggs, look alike.  We have twin daughters....In appearance they are quite similar.  Some people think they look just alike.  When they were younger they were often treated as one.  But they did not want to be treated the same.  They wanted to be appreciated for their differences rather than for their sameness..."

"There are two important pieces of knowledge that we need to understand and internalize to be happy.  The first is that we are children--spiritual children--of our Heavenly Father.  There is divinity within us,  Every person on this earth is a child of God.  Everyone!"

"Second, our Heavenly Father loves us.  He has endowed us with gifts of the Spirit that makes us uniquely who we are.  Our challenge is to know our real self--to live lives congruent with the Spirits inside us..."

"One of Satan's aims is to distract us from being successful.  He would have us believe that success if something that it really is not.  Satan's plan is full of half-truths, and he tries to lure us into accepting his counterfeit interpretation of life.
For instance, Satan would have us measure our worth and that of others by the standards of the world. He would have us believe that we should all be cast from the same mold--we should look alike, act alike, and even think alike to be in style--to be correct.  Consequently we become preoccupied in trying to measure up to the fads and thinking of the day.  We become more concerned about whether our clothes are in vogue than if they are modest and appropriate..."

"The world would have us be more anxious about how we look and what we weigh than how healthy we are.  A proper diet, appropriate exercise, and plenty of rest keeps our bodies, our minds, and our spirits in the best of health.  Anything else robs us of our full potential.  Eventually a price is paid if we do not take care of our bodies."

"We are often more into "political correctness" than "Spiritual correctness."  The world would have us believe that our happiness comes from other people's reaction to us.  We use radar like signals to measure how we look, how we act, and what we think and say.  We send out signals--feelers--to others.  These signals bounce back.  When others find our actions congruent with their thinking, they send positive signals.  We interpret those signals to mean that we are of worth.  Our interest in others often depends on the signals we receive rather than on genuine feelings within."

"In contrast, gifts of the Spirit, especially charity, are like a gyroscope.  They are internal.  Like a gyroscope they are steady and sure amidst the changing fads of the world.  As a part of our education for eternity, we must seek a principle-centered life.  This is a life where the gyroscope--our real self--maintains an equilibrium and direction based on eternal truths rather than on the signals generated by others.  Knowledge of our inner self lifts us above criticism, above discouragement, and above failure--"This above all:
To thine own self be true" (William Shakespeare, Hamlet, act 1, scene 3, line 78)"

My journey to getting to know the real me started in 1997 and with each passing year I have come to know and love the real me.
 I have been blessed with some amazing gifts from our Father in Heaven which is a big part of me.

The last two years I have felt that it was time to let go of a big piece of baggage that I have been carrying  since childhood.  Until today I did not  understand or know what that piece of baggage was.
But Thanks to a wise friends loving comment and Sister Bateman's inspired words I now understand what I am letting go off.

Many years ago I found a picture of a young man with his suit jacket hanging over his shoulder walking down a dark pathway lined with trees.  There was a saying about having to journey alone.
I had placed that picture on my brothers grave the day after he had been buried.
In my grief stricken mind my brother was on his journey alone.

In 97 that image came back into my mind and that sweet sweet whisper came into my mind
"You must go this road alone."
Now mind you I have this issue  about being alone, (among my many other issues)
I have been questioning that thought ever since.
But today as my fingers are running across my computer key board I realize the truthfulness of those words and that it is time to face my issue of being alone and start my journey by placing my trust in my Heavenly Father who honestly has never left me alone and who has blessed me with amazing friends who will always continue to cheer me on.

As my wise friend stated, "each and everyone us are on our own private journey."

Yesterday I met a nice gentleman and as we were visiting he made this profound comment,
"You've had an interesting life.  I'm excited to journey with you for awhile and to see where it takes us."

I had never thought of my life as interesting I'm just me a silly knob.  But you know what He is right.
I have faced some trials which has allowed me to open my heart and accept the wonderful gifts and tools that Heavenly Father so graciously has poured on my head.
And because of my great love for Him my greatest desire is to be called His friend,
I want to be an instrument that He can count on when one of His children needs a smile, a reassuring hug, a listening ear or a friend I want to be the one who steps forward and states,
"Here I am send me."

Because that is truly who I am.