What does it mean to be ‘true to yourself’?

4 December 2017

What does it mean to be ‘true to yourself’?

It was almost a whole year ago that I was asked by someone what would I like to be remembered for when I leave this world. For a split second I thought to myself, “Hmm many things”, but I responded, “That I was always true to myself.”

The other day I was sitting outside the mall near my house listening to the cars go by, feeling the humidity on my skin as I ate my lunch. I thought to myself, “A whole year has gone by, you have seen the world through your own eyes this year more than any other year. But have you remained true to yourself at all times?”

I then pondered more on the moments where I found it difficult to be me and I questioned why that was the case. Was I surrounded by an energy that was stopping me from being me or was my foundation not as strong as I thought?

I have always been someone who likes talking to random people. It doesn’t matter if they’re a barista at a coffee shop or a lady on the bus — having a conversation with a stranger has been just another way I have given love. It never mattered how old or young they are, I have always enjoyed a conversation probably because I love being able to get that human connection.

However, at the beginning of this year, I found myself struggling with this. I think as we get older, we start listening to the world more than to ourselves. There was a short period where I made no conversation with the people around me, and even if I wanted to, I convinced myself to remain silent even though that has never been me.”

Which got me thinking: there are so many different characteristics within an individual. So many different things that define a person and who they are. But how often are we being true to ourselves when we speak or make decisions? How often are we doing what is right by us even if it sometimes means doing it alone?

“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment” — Ralph Waldo Emerson.

I have come to learn, in the past few years, that sometimes it isn’t easy to be 100% you in a world where people desperately try to conform to the point they convince themselves they’re someone they’re not. I don’t know how many of us really care too much about how honest we are with ourselves, but I have felt the freedom our souls experience when we are.