To Thine Own Self Be True

Recently I began writing for a website called Women’s Ally which supports professional women in the workforce.  The topic for July was Reinvention and Evolution.  Which you know, if you have been reading my babble for a while, is a topic near and dear to my heart.  Although the article I wrote focused on some of my personal evolution and reinvention, writing this article reminded me of all the times I was not true to myself.  Times I did what I thought I had to do.  Times I did what I thought others wanted me to do.  All of these times really pointed to the true cause.  I didn’t know how to listen to my own heart or act upon my own desires.  And honestly, I can still be guilty of this at times.

When one is a giver and pleaser like I am, all too often I put other’s needs before my own.  Putting others before ourselves can be noble and necessary at times.  But when it happens more times than not, we begin to lose ourselves bit by bit.  Then eventually we forget our own needs.  One of the ways I know I have gone off track is when my husband asks me where I want to go to dinner and nothing comes to mind.  Honestly, I have no desire or opinion.  The only thoughts in my mind are what my husband likes or dislikes.  This may seem very insignificant but I think it is actually very major.  If I do not have an opinion on something as simple as the food I’d like to eat, what major decisions am I also not able to make?

So how do I get back on track?  Well first, I make sure that I am taking 15 minutes to do nothing.  Many times I’ll find that my routine to do that daily has fallen to the wayside or other requirements have kept me from it consistently.  This quiet time is the perfect way to get back to my heart.  It is in the quiet, away from other demands, needs, and responsibilities that I can reconnect with my own true heart, desires, and purpose.  Second, I stop making decisions with my mind.  Logic can be a terrific tool for problem solving, but it does not take our true needs in mind.  Often our needs are not logical.  They just are.  So by getting out of the justification and reason based thinking, allows me to tap back into my true self.

When is the last time you didn’t have an opinion?  What was the real reason for this?  Was there something you wanted that you knew would disappoint others?  Were you afraid to voice your opinion because you didn’t think you could receive it or deserved to receive it?  How did you recapture your heart and your voice?

2 comments

  1. Ahhhhh. The pleasures of co-dependency. I know them well. I am often shocked by my lack of needs. A free Saturday with no obligations? Eeeeek. Now I have to figure out what I want!? Happily, at 50 and after lots of Al Anon, I am much better at stopping and giving myself the blessing of attention but there are times when I still stumble. The trick for me (and this is what you said) is to turn off my brain and tune into my gut. I’ve gotten good at distinguishing between the different internal voices. My inner wisdom, as opposed to my ego, never steers me wrong.

  2. Cathy – Thank you for sharing your experience and struggle with taking care of yourself. Hearing your story will help a lot of people as they will know that they are not alone. Keep listening to your gut!

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