To Thy Own Self Be True

When doing a fourth step the phrase, “To thy own self be true”, comes up in my mind. When just living the program this phrase seems most appropriate. Isn’t it time we
took a stand for our own truths and made a pledge to stand by their side and own them as our own. I know I have worked very hard in this program and had to let go of things that would have otherwise harmed me. My truths sometimes need nudging. It seems as though I get to a new place of growth only to find I knew the truth all along. Sometimes uncovering what lies just beneath the surface takes willingness like in the sixth step. Other times they seem clear as bells. I feel grateful when I learn something new about myself. This new part that allows me to live a simpler life. Isn’t it true to keep it simple is the easier path to walk. To thy own self be true and walk in the light, see the
truth for you.

19 thoughts on “To Thy Own Self Be True

  1. I love that our program is filled with little sayings like “To thine own self be true.” When I first came in, I felt they were silly and trite. After being here a while, I found that when I get in a jam, they really help out.

    In any case, that statement carries a little different meaning for me. In my addiction, one of my biggest challenges is honesty. This slogan reminds me that I must first be truthful with myself and then truthful to others. And that is part of what you are saying. To be able to see some of the truths we have masked through the addiction can only be seen by doing the work, which we call the steps. Look at all the truths we learn about ourselves that are shown when we stop masking our emotions. There is so much there, trapped beneath the addiction.

    My sponsor likes to remind me that “we are not bad people trying to get good. We are sick people getting well.” One of my truths is that I am not a bad person. I am afflicted with a disease and program is my cure


    Eric F.

    • “To thy on self be true”

      I had a challenging weekend of triggers and urges. I found myself losing my temper because I had to wait 30 minutes after my car was ready and serviced; for having to help my family move furniture; for having to argue with the hostess at a restaurant that they misspelled my father’s name and that is the reason we had to wait 45 minutes. I was overwhelmed with the thought and desire to want to act out. I found myself at the library almost clicking on a link that would have taken me on a relapse binge. But for the Grace of God, I made it. And I was able to share these struggles with my fellows over the phone and at a meeting; I was able to share it with my sponsor; I was able to journal about it. I was able to be true to myself and be Graced with the great gift of sobriety. Today I could post on RM and not have to deal with a hang over of remorse, shame, guilt, and regret.

  2. “To Thy Own Self Be True” Normally I post the first or second time I read a new entry, this one is still in the baffling part of my disease. I know truth and I somewhat know myself but knowing the truth for myself is still so very unclear. I am still in that very, very painful place that I do not see myself as others see me. I still feel so unworthy and unlovable and that I deserve the awful things I have succumbed to in this disease.

    I had the nerve to tell my sponsor just last night that I really did not think I was done, she said to me part of you is done, otherwise you would not have gone to your meeting tonight, you would not have enjoyed the fellowship afterwards and you would not have called me telling me that you don’t feel like you are done. YOU, Ally YOU are done your addict is not done and if you are not going to let her kill you then she is certainly going to try like hell to mame you.

    To thy ownself be true, it is my most humble prayer that through this program and through my sponsor and the brothers in my home-group that my higher power shows me my best truth and that someday I will finally, finally love myself genuinely the way HE does.

  3. To Thine Own Self Be True – What this really means is I can B.S. everyone all I want, but in the end I am only one person and only hurting one person, and that is me! At the same time it means that I need to always speak up for myself and speak for what I think is right for me, speak for what I believe in and speak my truth. What I mean is, stop living my life by what I think others want me to do or by what others tell me to do. Live my life for what I want to do as long as it is the next right thing to do for me and for my program and it does not harm me or others than I am being true to myself and taking care of myself. UUUHHH, where have I heard that before???? To thine own self be true. There is a reason that A.A. has chosen this as their cornerstone saying and I like it. To my own self I will be true and as long as I do that, I have a much better chance of staying sober today.

  4. I know this is an older post, but I need to talk about it today. I am sitting here thinking about what I am doing and it is relevant. Here I am three years in my recovery and I still have codependancy issues too much. Just yesterday I was talking with my sponsor about not knowing what I should do with my life. I have several paths that I could take and I am sitting here not taking any of them. At the same time, I am realizing that I have a tendancy to be codependent towards whoever the current person is in my life. Granted, nothing is like what it was like 3 years ago, Thank God. But still, I need to live MY life and I need to be true to MYSELF. I need to do what I need to do and what God wants me to do and not worry so much about what my friends are doing or think I should be doing or tell me they are doing. I get so hung up on this. I need to grow up and be an adult and have a plan and live my life. No more existing, no more going week to week. I am 44 for Pete’s sake. But it has to start with being true to myself. If I am not true to myself, then I won’t know where to go. So I have a lot of work to do and I don’t know where it will lead, but I just wanted to get it out.

  5. I have always loved this saying and I don’t think about it enough. If I had only felt this way 25 years ago who knows where I would have ended up. But I was not true to myself. I was an addict and always will be. And my behaviors were such that I was not true to who I was and I allowed others to walk all over me and not respect me. In turn I did not respect me. As a result I continued downward in my spiral of my addiction and other behaviors continuing to be untrue to myself until I could not take it anymore and finally crossed the threshold into recovery.

    How wonderful it is today to be true to myself, to know who I am, to believe in who I am, to know what I am worth, to like myself, to care about myself, to take care of myself, to not be afraid to let others know who I am and to stand up for myself. I can do all of these things and be all of these things as a result of working this program and working on myself over these past 3 years and 11 months. I have been blessed with the journey that I have had. I am grateful for my experiences because they got me where I am today. I am grateful for everything that has happened and I am grateful that I can be me today and be true to myself today. Thanks to my Higher Power, my sponser and everyone else who helps me one day at time.

  6. My name is John and I am a liar and a recovering sex addict. I will say this now about myself in meetings to remind myself that what this disease does is make you lie to cover your acting out. The adage goes, “What a tangled web we weave when we endevour to deceive.” Covering tracks, correcting stories about my time spent, saying I did something when the desk shows that I didn’t (like clear up piles of paper). The most important thing I realize is that I couldn’t stand to look at that liar staring back at me with that grin. He is not there now but I know how easy he can come back so I must remind myself, I am a liar and a recovering sex addict and put it in the hands of my higher power.

    Thanks for reading ,

    God love you.

  7. To Thine Own Self Be True – These immortal words from Shakespeare are such a great reminder of how I need to approach my life today. Before coming into recovery I could not say that I was true to myself. I could not even tell you what my truth was. My head was so cloudy and mixed up I had no idea what was real and not real and had completely lost myself somewhere along the line. I was living my life based on what I thought others wanted me to do, or I was simply doing what others told me to do. So basically I was being true to others, not to myself. Since coming into recovery I have learned what this saying means. It did not happen overnight and it has not been an easy road, but it has been one of the most gratifying. Today I know who I am and I like who I am. I make decisions based on what is right for me. And I listen to suggestions from my sponsor or other guides and respond accordingly based on what is right for me. Today I know what my truth is inside me and I speak it and live it. It feels great to be able to speak and live my truth. It is freeing. It is simple. It is honest. It is all a result of working this program, working my relationship with my sponsor and my Higher Power. I am grateful because today I am true to my own self.

  8. Let me be true to myself on this my birthday. Because of this program and because of the work that I have done I can be true to myself today. It was not always like that. Before this program I hid my truth. I did not speak my truth. I lived in fear of what others would think and I lived my life based on what I thought others would want of me. Today I don’t have to do that. Today I live my life for me. I have my Higher Power to take care of me and watch over me. And as long as I do what I need to do on a daily basis my Higher Power will take care of the outcomes of my actions. And what I need to do to ensure the best outcomes for me is to be myself, speak my truth and be true to who I am.

  9. My wife has great concerns that this time I will not keep the changes she sees. I want so badly for her to believe they are real. Trying to convince her will be fruitless unless I am truthful to myself first and live the changes I am trying so hard to have her believe I am making. Being true to myself will eventually show her that both they and I am real.

  10. In reading the other posts and considering the topic, I wondered what I was going to write. It is clear that as sex addicts we lie to everyone…EVERYONE. Of course that includes ourselves. It is curious how real a fantasy world can feel to the mind of a sick person.

    As I reached the final post submitted by one of my all time favorite authors…Anonymous.
    I realized the truth of my disease. We are all the same. That post could have been submitted by Rick S. In four lines Anonymous summed up the pain and futility of my lies.

    I want everyone especially my wife to believe me, but that is difficult when I have consistently lied. The only way they will ever believe me is if I am truthful to them, and the only way I will ever be truthful to them is to be truthful to this program. Truth: what a paradoxical concept for the sex addicted mind. It does not work in my universe of lies. It is as though I have to step into a new world where it’s almost hard to breath because what I am now trying to live is so foreign to me.

    What makes it hard to breath is the pull of my disease. Something I feel today, that weight on my chest. However, coming here and connecting with a similarly tortured soul has eased that burden slightly. It’s easier to live in this world today.

  11. Being true to myself is difficult, since for so long I didn’t know who “myself” was. Finally after starting this program, I at least have a CLUE! The clue is that I must search my heart and feel what is true about myself and others. I have to listen to my sponsor, my therapists, my reading, and filter what is said with what is in my heart. I have to look at my relationships and filter out how I behave in terms of what is in my heart. Am I behaving as is right for me, or am I behaving as others want me to be? Learning how to listen to my heart is the first step to finding out who I am, and what I want, and who I want to be. It is the first and last test. It tells me what is true about myself, and about my relations with others.

    Being true to myself means listening to what my heart believes is right and true.

  12. To Thy Own Self Be True – I love this saying. It is at the heart of my recovery. Before coming into recovery I was not true to myself. I lived a life of fear – afraid of who I was and afraid of anyone finding out who I was. I did not make decisions for myself and I did not take care of myself. Even coming into early recovery I was this same way. I learned the tools to start to take care of myself and like myself in treatment. But it was a long hard road to really embrace them and start to see myself change and be true to myself. I had to go through a couple difficult years, but it was all worth it. It was all part of my journey and I would not trade it for anything. Because without going through it I would not be where I am today. And today I am not afraid of who I am, I do not live a life of fear of any of the other things I listed above. In fact it is the exact opposite. I embrace who I am and am proud of who I am. I can make decisions for myself today but at the same time I can know when I need to ask for help and I can take suggestions from others that now better than I do. I can take care of myself today and as a result and in the best health of my life at 46. My life is amazing today. I still have a long way to go and I am by no means perfect – but I am true to myself and that is a miracle because I thought I would live my entire life in shame and fear and now I know I don’t have to as long as I work my program one day at a time. Thank you fellowship and Higher Power.

  13. “Being true to thy self”…man this concept can really hurt. Drawing attention or giving time to the things that hurt me is what being true is for me. Such a vulnerable place to be. What hurts even more is not seeing a way out of the pain. It seems the only option is to endure the pain. Enduring the pain is something I don’t entirely understand how to do. But I believe that is what “Being true to thy self” is…facing the challenges in my life face to face. Not only that but surrendering my will to allow these challenges to be handled in a healthy way.

  14. My belief system….
    I am slowly learning in recovery that something is NOT TRUTH, simply because I believe it to be TRUE. This has been my experience. As I have traveled this journey, I have seen the lies in my belief system. I have had to slowly discard them and open my mind to new ideas and perspectives. The more I trudge this road of recovery, the more I begin to realize that I know only a little and more will be revealed.

    A friend in recovery quoted a movie phrase that illustrate my point.

    “At one time people knew that the earth was flat, then they later knew it was round.
    At one time people knew that the Sun orbited the Earth, then they knew the Earth orbited the Sun.
    At one time people knew flight was Impossible, then they knew flight was possible.”

    What I THINK I KNOW TO BE TRUE TODAY, MAY CHANGE. I must keep an OPEN MIND. My recovery depends on it.

  15. This topic relates to a saying that is said each group meeting. He program works for those that have the capacity to be honest. I’ve learned this is the key. I can lie to my GF. I can lie to the group or group member, or to my sponsor and all the time living to myself. But if I have the capacity to be honest, and AM honest, the honesty will be a light that shines on my addiction and keeps it away. Honesty is to the addiction like a light is to bugs that thrive in the darkness…shine the light and the bugs run away!

  16. If you want something you have never had you are going to have to do something you have never done. This quote means so much to me in recovery. I realize that if I am going to stay in recovery I must change everything in my life. All of the things I did before got me to where I am and where I was when I hit bottom I never want to feel again. Everything in my life now begins with this. Truth. If I cannot be true to myself then everything goes back to living in my addiction. I cannot and will not let that happen. The first time I told the truth to my wife and confessed my acting out was the hardest thing I ever had to do. But today I am so glad I found the strength. My higher power reached out and helped me and with his love and help I am able to continue every day being honest to myself and then to all those who I love. I am discovering me the real me the true me and the best part is I am truly beginning to love myself. These things I have never felt before in my life honesty and being true to myself is where my entire recovery begins and continues each day. Thank you father for your strength to help me see the path of truth and recovery.

  17. this is where the rubber hits the road ,knowing what a clear conscious feels like ,its a great feeling when im not lying to myself . When i do lie to myself i immediately feel this weight that burdens me and my behavior towards myself changes ,i have anxiety and my mind is clouded . to me it feels much easier to lie to someone else than myself .Now in recovery i am able to more easily recognize when i am lying to myself and to try to correct it immediately . I am not in any denial of my addiction if anything the lying to myself occurs most often when i tell myself that a behavior or thought is not my addiction talking ,when i know that it is .

  18. “To Thine own self be true”. How apropos. For years I didn’t do this. Now starting to work the steps – I try to keep that in mind before I open my mouth – or do something that would take me down that slippery slope — again. But as I am reminded, take it one step (or moment) at a time. Be gentle with yourself.

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