Ophelia’s father, Polonius, gave Hamlet several nuggets of sage advice, and
This above all: to thine own self be true,
And it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man.
Farewell. My blessing season this in thee.
“This above all: to thine own self be true…”
To thine own self be true…
What was Polonius trying to tell Hamlet, and ipso facto, Shakespeare to us?
Be true to ourselves?
And if you are true to yourself, as the night will always follow the day, you must always be honest with others…
And as Polonius recuses himself from Hamlet’s presence, he bids him a blessing that he may remember this advice…
And so, as we enter into this unscripted path of exploring your personal truth… I bid you a blessing that you may take this advice…
To Thine Own Self Be True…
Quid est veritas?
“What is Truth?” Pontius Pilate asked of Jesus.
Was this a rhetorical question based on the knowledge that truth is relative?
I am not a biblical scholar, nor do I intend to launch into discussion of Judeo-Christian ideology…
But it begs the question…
What is Truth?
What is true for YOU?
Is what’s true for you also true for someone else?
What determines what’s true for us?
Does what’s true for us change?
I see I’m heading down a philosophical rabbit hole here with no clear ending in sight, so I will attempt to bring this back to a relatable reality with an example…
Today, I quit my job.
I gave two weeks’ notice to my employer.
What are the truths?
I enjoy working in the mental health field.
I also loathe working in the mental health field.
I need a job to support myself.
My job was negatively affecting my mental health.
My job inspired me to pursue my passion for writing.
I am chasing my dreams.
I am scared I made a mistake.
I am confident that I made the right decision.
I think you get the point…
There are several contradictory thoughts and feelings around my decision to leave my job and pursue my dreams.
Which one is true?
Aren’t they all?
And if they are all true…
Isn’t it possible that none of them are?
The point I’m trying to make (if there is one – I’m still hashing it out in my head as I go), is that it’s important to find out what we want and need and to be able to go for it.
We don’t need to get stuck in minutia of deciding which thoughts are true or not.
What difference does it make?
What does your heart say?
What does your intuition tell you?
What does your gut say?
What does the face in the mirror tell you?
Have you looked in their (your) eyes lately?
Break on Through to the Other Side
You know the day destroys the night
Night divides the day
Tried to run
Tried to hide
Break on through to the other side
Break on through to the other side
Break on through to the other side, yeah
Evidently, I am in a lyric-quoting mood today…
Jim Morrison of The Doors sang (in my opinion) that we need to break out of denial into the truth.
Of course, that is only my interpretation of the song, Break On Through, but since we’ve determined that truth is relative, that’s what I’m choosing to believe he meant.
The day destroys the night…
Night divides the day…
Perhaps he meant that the truth (the day) destroys fear and deception (the night)?
And… fear and deception (the night) divides or obscures the truth (the day)?
Tried to run
Tried to hide…
Denying our truth – what and who we really are divides the day.
Now, if we were to live free…
We need to break on through to the other side…
The other side of what?
I’ve heard people say that everything they let go of has claw marks on it…
Imagine, you’re mister tiger in this pic, Richard Parker, much like his desperate companion, Pi, holding on for dear life…
Everything you think makes you feel safe and who you are is suddenly being ripped from your paws (hands) and you have two choices…
Continue to grasp and claw at what you think you need…
To let go…
This is not always an easy decision or process…
There’s a parable of a man walking along a cliff who suddenly slips and falls over the side.
Luckily, he grabs onto a tree root and finds himself hanging on the side of the cliff.
He calls out in all desperation, “Please! Please! Is there anyone out there? Can anyone help me?”
Suddenly, he hears a booming voice from below that says, “I am here. This is God, and I can help you. All you need to do is let go…”
The man considers letting go for a moment, shakes his head, and asks, “Is there anyone else out there?”
The point is, sometimes the Universe is telling us to let go, and we just don’t fucking want to.
In fact, we’re sure that if we let go, we will fall over the edge of the cliff and suffer eternally.
Even though our lives have shown that we are still here and we have never, ever, fallen off a cliff (metaphorically) nor endured unending suffering, we are sure that letting go will spell disaster.
I know I use the trapeze parable frequently, but it’s such a good one! (See post https://greenleaf4life.blog/2022/05/27/let-old-things-die/).
I realized that I was afraid to quit my job because it felt relatively safe.
Regardless of the negative impact on my mental health, working in a high-crisis environment in a broken mental health system is the mess I know.
I know the job does not feed my soul.
I know it doesn’t pay enough.
And yet, I was holding on to it because it’s familiar and guaranteed pay.
I was also holding onto it because of this notion that I am a bad person because I’m walking away from serving a vulnerable population that needs help.
Guilt attached to a misaligned sense of duty was eating me alive…
When I journaled yesterday that I feel stuck, I remembered my recent post about when one door closes another opens (see post https://greenleaf4life.blog/2022/06/02/when-one-door-closes-another-opens/).
When I read the word “stuck” in my journal, I woke up.
I am only stuck because I choose to be so…
I’m not really stuck.
And the next door will not open unless I allow this one to close.
In this case, I needed to (as gracefully as possible) slam the motherfucker shut!
I let go of the familiar trapeze bar.
I let go of the tree root on the side of the cliff.
Regardless of the fears of certain failure and death that lie beneath me
I know that when I let go…
I learn to fly…
Let the Truth Set You Free
Listen to the wind blow, watch the sun rise
Running in the shadows, damn your love, damn your lies
And if, you don’t love me now
You will never love me again
I can still hear you saying
You would never break the chain (Never break the chain)
Yes, more lyrics…
This time from The Chain by Fleetwood Mac.
Now, I am certainly taking liberties with these lyrics. I’m fairly sure this song is about being betrayed by a lover… but who knows?
That’s the beauty of interpreting art… It’s in the eye (or ear) of the beholder.
However, I charge you with this…
Don’t break the chain with yourself!
Be the faithful partner you crave…
Be the holder of your personal truths
And stay true to them…
Even if they change.
Allow for them to change
But own THAT shit!
No one is coming to rescue you!
No one is coming to do it for you!
Figure out what you want (or don’t want) and act accordingly.
I finally had enough of fighting myself over that job.
I finally saw that I was “Running in the shadows”
Damn my love…
Damn my lies…
If I don’t love me now, I will never love me again…
So the point is…
It’s time to love yourself now!
Don’t break the chain of commitment to yourself.
Whatever your heart desires…
Fucking do it!
If you feel stuck, it’s because you believe you are.
It’s only an illusion.
If you can imagine a negative outcome, you can imagine a positive one.
It’s the same imagination…
Why not try thinking positive, even for just one minute?
And not the bullshit spiritual shortcutting of thinking everything is positive all the time.
That’s not what I’m talking about.
Own your fucking fears and hang-ups!
Feel the fucking pain of your current situation.
Let it make you so damned uncomfortable you HAVE to do something!
When I quit my job, I realized that I am throwing away a perceived security that will ignite a greater hunger and creativity within me.
My ass is really on the line now motherfucker!
I have to hustle to make a living now!
I GET TO hustle to make a living!
I am on the firing line of life and hanging my ass way over the deep end.
Because I want to be fully alive and stop living in a victimy cesspool of fucking self-pity whining about why my life sucks.
As long as I remain a victim, I will stay one.
I am pushing myself out of the nest because it’s time to fucking fly!
Get off your ass and stop holding onto what’s holding you back!
Figure out what sets your soul on fire and fucking live!
Life is short.
We could all be huddled up in fucking caves tomorrow because of a nuclear attack or a fucking asteroid.
Do you want to look back at your life and say, “I wish I would’ve such and such?”
Would you rather look back and know that you did everything in your fucking power to live life to the fullest?
I’m done with living a life of regrets…
I don’t want to be like “most men” as Henry David Thoreau wrote, “Most men lead lives of quiet desperation.”
I want to live fully, love fully, feel the bitter sting of heartbreak and failure, get back up, dust myself off, and keep fucking going.
As my business coach says, if you want to live an exceptional life, you need to do exceptional things.
Find out your truth…
And fucking do it!
(still waiting for Nike to approach me for “F” word logo) 😉
On today’s installment of Greenleaf4Life’s Mastermind Theatre, we explored the notion of not only truth, but owning yours and therefore being honest with others.
Life is so much simpler and cuts out a ton of the bullshit when you can just own your truth and be free with it.
Perhaps you’re in a situation that does not feel safe to live your truth…
Maybe it feels like you’re stuck.
I encourage you to use your beautiful, creative mind to un-fucking-stuck yourself.
Ask for help if need be…
But above all, decide that you are fucking worth it!
When you figure out that what you want and need matters, you’ll find a way,
Stuck is a mindset.
It’s an illusion…
Break free from the night that divides the day…
Let go of fear and self-deception.
If people don’t like your truth, fuck them!
I mean that in the nicest way possible.
Say what you mean, but don’t say it mean.
Remember, “No” is a complete sentence.
If someone asks why?
Just simply say, “I’d rather not.”
You owe no one an explanation!
Find out what sets your soul on fire
(or at least what’s currently extinguishing it)
And go after that (or remove the barrier).
Sometimes, you just need to change environments.
Hang around the people you want to be like.
If you want to soar with the eagles, don’t roost with the fucking turkeys.
In other words, if you hang out with complainers that aren’t doing shit with their lives, then you will continue to be a complainer who’s not doing shit with your life!
Water seeks it’s own level…
So level the fuck up!
What are you waiting for?
Tomorrow is not guaranteed.
Take the action today!
And above all….
To Thine Own Self Be True…
Thank you for reading the impassioned wiles of a man on fire. I hope my flames ignited something in you. Please comment, like, and follow this blog. Let’s connect! I also offer Life Coaching services. If you are sick and tired of feeling sick and tired, reach out and we’ll get you on track.