“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!” William Shakespeare
There is one piece of wonderful advice that I give out regularly; it is to honour yourself. And it was advice I did not take.
I was beginning to feel awkward about an arrangement a friend and I had made. I never had the conversation with my friend because I feared it would not end well. I sat in this place getting all worked up and making up stories along the way.
At the same time, I was taking a course with Rev. Nadene about letting go. When she asked each of us what we wanted to let go of I could not admit to myself what it was. So, I later asked myself, ‘what is it you want to let go of?’ It immediately came to me that I wasn’t able to have a conversation with my friend because I was afraid of conflict.
Conflict? Where did that come from? Then the memories came tumbling back: of my younger self who would do anything to avoid conflict. When this memory came back, I realized how deeply the idea of conflict had affected me in my life.
I knew this had nothing to do with my friend and everything to do with me. When I thought more deeply, about talking to my friend, I realized that I was afraid it might turn into an angry confrontation and possibly losing a friend. Then I heard a small inner voice saying “what about what I am feeling; why aren’t you speaking for me?”
I stepped back and watched the childhood memories pass by. I realized this is much more than my letting go of my fear of conflict and everything to do with honouring myself. Who would speak my word and honour myself if I do not? Who knows me better than me? Does it really matter how things turn out when I honour myself and speak my words clearly, lovingly, and kindly? The answer was clear: Honour yourself.
By the time I spoke with my friend, I had released all of the “what ifs” and felt at ease. I was free of old the ideas and settled into listening and honouring myself. I was free.
And the conversation with my friend; it was perfect!
By Jill Inglis