“I am only one, but still I am one.
I cannot do everything, but still I can do something.
And because I cannot do everything,
I will not refuse to do the something I can do.”

Edward Everett Hale

Friday, 13 December 2013

Be True, Live Truly

This week I have been reminded of the words of a lovely hymn in our green Unitarian hymnbook, Hymns for Living. The words (after Horatius Bonar) are as follows:

"You must be true unto yourself / If truth to others you would teach; / Your soul must overflow with love / If you another's soul would reach.
Think wisely, truly, and your thoughts / This hungry world shall help to feed; / Speak truly, and your every word / Shall yet become a fruitful seed.
Let lips be full of gentle speech, / Your heart respond to human need;  / Live truly, and your life shall be / A glorious and a noble creed."

And it seems to me that this advice is the most important advice in the world - to be authentic, to live with integrity, and to be true to yourself, rather than trying to persuade yourself into inappropriate feelings, because they are what the majority in society believe. It is not a particularly comfortable way to live - it is much easier to run with the crowd, and to follow others -  to "fit in". But I am finding that I feel so much better about myself, if I am being authentically Sue. Of course I slip, often, because I'm a beginner at this, but I'm finding that I am becoming more aware of those slips, and they are making me feel more uneasy.

I think it was Socrates who said that "an unexamined life is not worth living." So I am examining my life, and trying to make choices that are true to who I am. As ever, I am uplifted by the Quaker Advices:

"Cherish that of God within you, so that this love may grow in you and guide you."

"Be aware of the spirit of God at work in the ordinary activities and experience of your daily life."

"Live adventurously. ... Let your life speak."

"A simple lifestyle, freely chosen, is a source of strength."

"If pressure is brought upon you to lower your standard of integrity, are you prepared to resist it? Our responsibilities to God and our neighbour may involve us in taking unpopular stands. Do not let the desire to be sociable, or the fear of seeming peculiar, determine your decisions."

So I am going to try to be true, live truly, and be Sue.

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