Let's Be True to Who We Are

When you look into a mirror who looks back at you?

image from external-content.duckduckgo.comIs it you as you really are or is it the person you think you should be?

This may seem a silly question, especially since it's a given that every one of us keeps growing and changing all through our lives--until one considers how many people rate their self-worth on the number of "likes" they get on social media. It's as if one's value as a person depends on what other people think of that individual. 

By this logic, someone I never met--and likely never will--gets to tell me if I'm acceptable or not and whether my opinion is valid.

At the very least, isn't this un-American? 

And if that's how we choose to live, doesn't it mean we hand over control of who we are and what we think to other people? To strangers?

With so many opinions floating around in our heads do we even know who we are?

Years ago--in the midst of my adolescent flailing around to find myself--my mom passed on this familiar quote from Shakespeare. She also briefly noted this truth offers a solid standard to live by: 

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.

Even then I heard the inner click that signaled I needed to hang onto this truth.

Over time I realized my need for this to be true was as much a part of me as the color of my eyes. It explained why I could be troubled about some little cruelty among classmates or about suffering in a far-off country I could barely pronounce. Other kids my age just shrugged and said something like, "Aw, who cares? What does it matter to me?"

(As you might guess, this temperament quality never earned me the title "Miss Popularity.")

When I came to know myself better I realized the people I admired most were those who seemed to share this same need to be authentic.  

When my husband and I met I sensed an inner honesty in him early on. Over a lifetime I found that to be always true. Yes, we disagreed sometimes, as all couples do, but each of us learned to respect the other's right to hold a different, well thought-out opinion. I knew I could trust him to be honest with me and he knew he never had to wonder if I were being truthful with him.

This mutual acceptance helped each of us feel more secure with ourselves and who we were. It also tremendously strengthened our marriage relationship.

United we stood

As parents we tried to anticipate what would be coming next and talk it through so we would be prepared for what came next. Our girls soon learned it was pointless to try to play one parent against the other to wangle permission for something we hadn't discussed.  Our standard reply would be, "Sorry, but your dad (or mom) and I need to talk it over first."

This didn't stop our four lively, ever-changing daughters from trying. Or mounting campaigns complete with informing us that "all the other kids" already had their parents' okay.  

We would listen patiently as they pleaded their case and then often say what they didn't want to hear: "Sorry, Hon, but we can't say Yes. We love you very much, but that wouldn't be for your best and that's what we're here for." 

They still wailed (not wanting to appear too easy) but their pouts didn't last long.  

Did they appreciate at the time that we were trying to be good parents? Not hardly. 

Muddling through life

Isn't that what most of us do? None of us knows the precise path that lies ahead of us, so I'm guessing we do the best we can and try to do what's right.

I'm a Christian and I've learned that life is not about what know, nor how good I am. How can I be sure? This may sound way too simple, but I trace it back to a simple faith song I learned as a young child. The song begins like this:

   Jesus loves me, This I know, For the Bible tells me so.

These simple truths of faith have been for me like a solid railing that's in place beside a slippery path so all I have to do is grab hold and hang on tight as I walk.

Want something solid to hang onto for yourself?

Here's a trio of truths to start with:

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.   John 3:16 

(Note the "whoever." This promise is for everyone. Everywhere.)

I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye on you.   Psalm 32:8

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.  Jeremiah 29:11

Once I got it straight in my mind that I am a child of God and He loves me, any uncertainty about figuring out who I was gradually cleared up and life got easier. Although I never got that Miss Popularity crown, it's okay. I know who I am.

I wish the same for you, dear reader,


March 22, 2024

September 23, 2023

April 22, 2023

October 17, 2022

August 19, 2022


  • Thanks for stopping by. Hope you'll find a bit of a heart-lift here and be blessed.
My Photo

To E-mail Lenore

  • Write me at [email protected]
    Please identify yourself. Write, "A Woman's View reader" on the subject line. (I delete mail from unknown senders.)

About "Godly Moms: Strength from the Inside Out"

  • Order my book, "Godly Moms"
    I packed this book with pointers drawn from life as a mother of four. Short, down-to-earth pieces that flow from life as a Christian mother of four. An easy, quick read anytime that will leave you stoked for your calling.