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To Thine Own Self Be True

Talk summary: Popular today is the phrase "be true to yourself." But what in the world does that actually mean? In this podcast, Guy Finley explains the True meaning of this popular idea, and how it can change our lives.

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Talk notes: "To thine own self be true, and surely it must follow as day the night, thou canst not be false to any man." This is an ideal that strikes directly at the heart of human beings.

In the setting out to attain this ideal, many people buy books and study courses in order to learn how to be true to oneself. And although the reading of books may be a necessary first step, most of humanity stops there and simply imitates what he or she has learned from someone else.

But unfortunately this is a life of imitation. And because we are all master imitators, we avoid, resist, and have a negative reaction toward anyone or anything that does not confirm who we think we are. This is a painful way to live, and besides, it doesn't work. So, how can I be true to myself when I really do not know who I am?

The good news is that discovering who you are and being true to yourself are one and the same thing! What actually is my "true self"? My "self" is what I am in the moment, but that "self" is not limited to the nature that is acting itself out.

Something higher than myself that I cannot create for myself must act upon what I am. Usually we attempt to solve the mystery of ourselves with our own minds, with what we tell ourselves through our own imagination. The problem is that our minds, as they are now, are master deceivers and are dedicated to limitation. The mind has taken the contents of personality as the whole self, as the gamut of all possibilities.

In order to find out who we really are we must never cut ourselves off from situations that reveal our limitations to us. When we hide out like that, we miss the opportunity for something higher than ourselves to work on what might be revealed in us. If we do indeed want to change, we must be present to ourselves and be open to what Life presents to us.