Skip to main content

Be True to Yourself, a Perspective

Until you know yourself and what you want out of life, you can't truly be there for others. Know and be true to yourself.

Knowing Your True Self - Preface

Setting the world and your obligations aside, what makes YOU happy? When your 9-5 is over, the food is on the table, the kids are in bed, laundry is done, bills paid, animals fed, etc, etc., what do you do for yourself? What makes you, the person who you are inside, underneath all the chores and responsibilities of life, happy?

Setting aside the perpetual duties that relentlessly demand our attention, what do YOU want from life? How do you envision your life? If you had no encumbrances, how would you live the one life you have on this Earth? You must first know who you really are before you can answer this most crucial question. Setting aside all the identities that life thrusts upon us (parent, neighbor, employee, cook, maid, etc.,) who are you? What do you like and enjoy? What makes you, the real you, happy?

When All is Said and Done....

Face it, we all have obligations. If you have your priorities set, those obligations come first. Whether familial obligations, work, or making sure the bills are paid, it seems what is expected of you comes first. And so it should. These are the choices we make when we become spouses, parents, homeowners and employees.

This can and does become overwhelming. Sometimes we think, 'when do I get time for me?' Don’t chastise yourself. You wouldn’t be human if these thoughts didn’t disrupt your psyche from time to time. However, when they hit, take heed. It is time to do for your self. Yes, be selfish. You cannot spread yourself without having inner peace and strength.

I have a motto by which I live: if it feels good, do it, if it doesn’t, don’t, and when it stops, quit! This may seem selfish, but you must be true to your self! Recognizing this and acting upon it will keep you from falling into a permanent state of depression or becoming resentful of those who depend on you.

What pleases you? What puts a smile on your face and a song in your heart? If you had your druthers, what would you do for you? Think about it while I share with you what makes me happy.

Things That Make Me Happy

Music is a huge part of my life. I absolutely must have music. Before I turn on my computer at work, I fire up the radio. When I awaken through the night, a song is in my head and again in the morning. Docmo recently asked me, “Which song?” My subconscious has a life of its own. It’s never the same song and I have no idea how my subconscious chooses, but the songs range the span from childhood songs (Maresedotes!) through current period. Apparently, my mind never sleeps but music is my “key”!

I won’t include my love of writing in this piece. I wouldn’t be here and you wouldn’t be reading this if that weren’t true and obvious.

I’ve always had a propensity to read, which is probably why I became a writer. I’ve been known to spend hours on my front porch (music on!) reading a novel. I must admit, since reviving my freelance career, I haven’t actually picked up a book in quite some time. I do, however, read. Lately my reading material is provided by the multitude of talented writers on HubPages. From poetry, to how-to’s, to advice on living simply, to living green, to experiencing parts of the world I’ve never seen, I have a library at my hands much larger than my home library. Thanks to all of you. You keep me perpetually entertained, informed, and spark reflection!

Yanni, My Favorite Artist, Lifts Me from Opression

Pineapples coming up in my yard.

Pineapples coming up in my yard.

Morning Life.

Morning Life.

More Things That Make Me Happy

If you’ve read my poetry, you know Mother Nature is an inspirational factor in my life. Have you every actually watched a Morning Glory open her face to the dawn of a new day? Have you seen her fold at dusk, knowing it’s time to sleep and replenish for the next new day? Watch Mother Nature. Listen to her. Hear the birds in the morning? See them flit about busy at the day’s tasks? Hear the night bugs? Listen. Stop talking and listen. Life in its pure form is miraculous, comforting, and flat-out amazing! Take time to stop and smell the roses. Better yet, do your part.

Gardening is a love of mine. Take a look at my upcoming pineapples. I absolutely have a smile on my face! Although I enjoy the maintenance of mowing and weeding, creating a plant bed is akin to an artist seeing the fruits of his labor on canvas. Digging out the blueprint of an imagined landscape, applying a border to deter the intrusion of grass and/or weeds, lovingly incorporating colors, textures, and natural protection is most awesome. At the end of the day, when you’re covered in dirt and sweat, stand back. Admire the fruits of your labor. It’s as satisfying as seeing your child become successful or at least finding his way in life. Seeing your vision come to life can and will put a smile on your face and hopefully, a song in your heart.

I Have More to Say

By now you may be thinking, “where does family come into Shauna’s mix?” Family is absolutely a part of what makes me happy, but the theme is “what makes YOU happy?” We’re talking about individuals. Not everyone is fortunate enough to be blessed with children or family who are still alive. Additionally, this theme was predicated upon who you were before you extended yourself, opened your arms and became responsible for others.

However, I would be remiss if I didn’t claim kin to the moments when my son and I laugh. We laugh often. We’re both silly and can simultaneously bust out in uncontrollable laughter. We have a much different relationship than my mom and I. My son and I can talk about anything. I’ve told him of my past mistakes and supported him in righting his. We share unconditional love. Our love allows us to share thoughts openly, yell when necessary, direct, argue, etc. At the end of the day, we say “I love you” freely and openly hug, no matter who’s around. The best gift of all is the belly-aching laughter we induce in each other and share. Moms and dads are gifted in that only a select few have the honor of calling us Mom or Dad. If that doesn’t give your child(ren) an idea of just how special they are, I don’t know what does!

Scroll to Continue

I am giving you my perspective as to what I do to maintain connection with the person I am. Me: the person who has been key in developing another life; the person who has brought others into her life (and has since eliminated some). The “me” I was before I gained titles (wife, mom, chief bottle washer, bread winner, etc.). Do you get my point now? K. Let’s move on.

Me on the back, heading out on a road trip in 1989.

Me on the back, heading out on a road trip in 1989.

In the Wind

One of the most “freeing” ways to escape and come into myself is in the wind. Whether on the bow of the boat, wind in my hair and waves slapping the hull or on the back of a Harley, thunder roaring through the engine, there’s nothing like the freedom of the wind. When experiencing Mother Nature through the wisp of her breeze, her resplendence comes to life. The smells, the sights, the hues, textures of life are seen as in no other realm. At least that’s what I experience. I get lost. I go into another world void of stress, responsibility, wariness, compression, and mistrust. Being in the wind restores me. It rejuvenates me. I float above the suppression of life on earth. My spirit soars. I am free and that is what makes me truly happy!

Another - perhaps odd to some - time I find happiness is through solitude. I have no problem being alone. I once needed companionship. I no longer feel the need to have someone in my life in order to feel complete. Don’t get me wrong – companionship is wonderful when it is true companionship and not full of expectation and/or criticism. Learning to be with and by myself has allowed me to grow. To reflect on my life and what is right or wrong. Where am I in the formula? Am I the cause? Am I the force in what allows me to grow? Or am I the cause for not moving forward? Solitude allows me to go inside myself and reflect on my life, what I want from life, how I want to be perceived. It is when I’m true to myself. I’m not afraid to admit when I’m wrong. I don’t blame anything on anyone else. I am in control whether at the forefront or through my actions. I can gain. I can lose. The choice is mine and mine alone. Solitude is integral to my fortitude or weakness. Solitude allows me to know myself and face me. I’m not afraid. I am true to myself!

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2012 Shauna L Bowling


Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on November 20, 2012:

Shiela, please forgive my late response to your comment. It tickles me to know you read this twice. I am who I am, that's all I have to say. I miss riding, too. It's such a free feeling! Of course, with all the traffic theses days, it's hard to smell the various scents along the way. All you smell is exhaust!

Thank you for taking the time for me. It is always appreciated!

Sheila Brown from Southern Oklahoma on November 06, 2012:

This is simply awesome! I read it twice, just so I could let everything "sink in". It makes me sit back and think. Sometimes we get so busy, we don't take the time for ourselves our look at what a good life we really have. I also love to walk in the country and garden. I used to love to ride the Harley with hubby, but after he had a back wreck, I haven't ridden much. Now I am realizing how much I miss it! This is an abosultely wonderful hub! Voting up and awesome! :)

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on November 04, 2012:

Absolutely, Peg! If you're willing to see, the mirror will show you the truth!

Peg Cole from North Dallas, Texas on November 04, 2012:

What you just told Pamela rings so true: "Being true to yourself is strength, recognition, acceptance and fortitude." It takes all those to see ourselves in a true light. Sometimes the mirror is a harsh judge yet provides an opportunity to see ourselves clearly enough to make course corrections.

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on October 27, 2012:

Pamela, I've grown to learn that if I'm not true to myself, I'm not worth a durn to anyone else. How could I have raised my son if I did not know who I am and be true to me? He would not have absorbed the most important component of having a strong foundation. I started him off, the rest is up to him. Hopefully, he's recognized what is important and will have the strength to pick himself up when he falls and the force to push him to spread his wings and fly.

Being true to yourself is strength, recognition, acceptance and fortitude. At least that's the way I see it!

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on October 27, 2012:

I really related to you writing also. Being true to yourself is important. For so many years I was so busy taking care of everyone else it took a while to take time to do what makes me happy. I love music too, and I love walking on the beach with the wind blowing. Loved your hub. Voted up and across+++++

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on September 20, 2012:

Sue, it took many failed relationships and me barking up the wrong tree to realize I don't need anyone else to make me whole. I have to become whole within myself before I can start giving pieces of me away!

Sueswan on September 19, 2012:

Hi Shauna,

I relate to you finding happiness through solitude. Some people can't be alone and get involved in relationships where they are never truly happy because they are not being true to themselves.

Voted up and awesome

Take care :)

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on September 18, 2012:

I second the sentiment, Heaven!

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on September 18, 2012:

Frog, how true! You cannot be there for others if you aren't first true to yoursef. Thank you for sharing your joys with us!

I agree with you. The writers in the Perspectives group are awesome!

Heaven L Burkes from The Invincible Heart of Neverland on September 18, 2012:

Frog Prince! Kisses!!!

The Frog Prince from Arlington, TX on September 18, 2012:

I will always be true to myself because without that I can never be true to those around me. I detest frauds and liars and have had to hurt a few feelings along the way. My motorcycle is one of my joys as are music and the work I do remodeling homes gives me a glow when I'm finished.

Keep on track here. You have some good writers with you bravewarrior.

The Frog

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on September 17, 2012:

Maria, thanx for the moral support. You're right. There's no stopping me now!

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on September 17, 2012:

Thank you Mary! Chicken Soup for the Soul.... Hmmmm. I like it! Thanx for the votes!

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on September 17, 2012:

Spy, don't be afraid. You are beautiful! How could you possibly hurt someone? Please be you. I love who you are!

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on September 17, 2012:

Good for you, Heaven. Keep me posted!

Maria Jordan from Jeffersonville PA on September 17, 2012:

Hey Sha,

"Chicken Soup for the Soul..." is a Mary (tillsontitan), so many of us wanna see you in print.

Now, with 'the Power of NOW' (thanks, Martie!)... girlfriend has a bit of time to make that dream come true!

"Don't Stop me NOW...I'm havin such a good time..." ( QUEEN!)

Mary Craig from New York on September 17, 2012:

Beautiful hub. As I read I kept thinking, that's me, I like that...the wind, reading, music, gardening....we share many of the same joys. This is a beautiful hub...could be a "Chicken Soup for the Soul" entry!

Voted up, useful, awesome, and interesting.

DragonBallSuper on September 17, 2012:

Sha, I spent my life trying to hide and ran away from my true self, where instead, i need to embrace who I really am. I am afraid that I might hurt someone. being true to yourself is like your honest with other people too..i always love the truthfulness i found in you sha, especially on your hub about getting the love you deserve to have.

Heaven L Burkes from The Invincible Heart of Neverland on September 16, 2012:

Voted up and LOVE this! This is what all the spirit-empowering books say - do what you love and the money will come. I am still stuck in the "Do What You Love" part - getting my butt in a mentoring program to learn how to show myself the money. ;)

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on September 16, 2012:

John, you've helped to bring me back to who I am and to stand up for myself. I love you! Live to ride and ride to live. However and where ever that takes us! Peace to you on your journey, my dear dear friend. Today is the first day of the rest of our lives!

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on September 16, 2012:

Yep, Rich I'm a biker chick in addition to many other things. I love life, adventure, nature and am a free spirit at heart. That's why I never take off my rose-colored glasses! "Get your motor runnin'. Head out on the highway! Lookin' for redemption, in whatever comes my way!"

I haven't lived the lifestyle for quite some time, but I'm a biker chick and hippie at heart!

I'm glad you enjoyed, Rich! Just a little piece of me I wanted to share....

John on September 16, 2012:

Those words are the Sha I know and definitely Love...Beautiful.

Rich from Kentucky on September 16, 2012:


Great read and insight into what makes you tick! So, you're a biker girl! I'll have to see what I can do in respect of that! Really enjoyed reading this! Great job!

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on September 16, 2012:

Sooooo, you're a cancer? I'm pisces. Water baby. And who says you're not conversing with yourself, Linda? ha ha.

Linda Crist from Central Virginia on September 16, 2012:

July, not March. Thank goodness. I was starting to think I was conversing with myself. lol

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on September 16, 2012:

Go for it, girl! Not everyone is worthy of our time and/or souls!

Maria Jordan from Jeffersonville PA on September 16, 2012:

Well, just fired a friend who wasn't acting too rosy so I'm thinking the fit is perfect...Now I'm singing IMAGINE cuz I feel like JL.

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on September 16, 2012:

I'm so glad your rose-colored glasses arrived my Maria! How do they fit?

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on September 16, 2012:

Thank you for reading, Mhatter and for allowing me into your life.

Maria Jordan from Jeffersonville PA on September 16, 2012:

Thanks to you, Sista, I see firing in a whole new light.

I feel as though it is these rose-colored glasses that just arrived...?!

Martin Kloess from San Francisco on September 15, 2012:

Thank you for a piece of yourself and your values with us.

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on September 15, 2012:

Ok, this is too weird, Linda. Are you by any chance a March baby?

Linda Crist from Central Virginia on September 15, 2012:

OMG - I fired two too and my 2nd died 7 years ago. I told him when I left that if I was going to do it alone I was only going to clean up after one of us and it wasn't him. lol

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on September 15, 2012:

Linda, it's called firing your spouse, otherwise known as divorce! I've fired two. Unfortunately, the first, my son's father has since passed. I remember the love we had now, but when our marriage was 7 years old, I felt the need to fire him. He wasn't doing his share. Same with my second husband. He wasn't willing to share in the household expenses and was critical of absolutely everyone! I don't need that kind of negativity or unwillingness to accept responsibility, in my life. If I'm going to carry the weight, I will carry my own. And my son's, but that's wearing thin, too! However, I won't fire him. I'll just stop paying his way and have him pick himself up when he falls, just as I've done all my life!

I appreciate your comment, my friend!

Linda Crist from Central Virginia on September 15, 2012:

Great writing bravewarrior! I'm afraid to ask how you eliminated those relationships though. lol We share a love for the wind in our faces too. I thoroughly enjoyed this. Voted up and awesome!

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on September 15, 2012:

Martie, we also have accounting (ugh!) in common! I think your daughter is probably the way she is because we women carry the weight. We're the ones to set priorities (why haven't our boys learned that?) and have to keep ours and everyone elses' ducks in a row. Women have a rough road to travel. The many simultaneous hats we were become heavy and burdensome. All the more reason to take time for ouselves! We need to take off those hats and lighten up!

Thanx for voting me up to the stars. That's where you'll find me when you can't find me!

Martie Coetser from South Africa on September 15, 2012:

So true, bravewarrior: “…. If you have your priorities set, those obligations come first... "

Work always comes before play. The responsibility is ours to make room for play. Only God knows why we tend to overload our daily schedules with work. No, we do know the answer. Our greed – for more money, more prestige – urges us to neglect our true self. And not to talk about our vain fear to be called ‘selfish’. We should distinguish between selfishness and responsibility towards our self. (But look who’s talking! I am working on this every day of my life!)

We have a lot in common, Shauna – love for music, nature, gardening, reading, writing, family, feeling the wind in our hair and solitude. Oh, and I, too, enjoy the company of my son and daughter. I do laugh easier with my son. We seem to see something funny in every other situation. My daughter tends to be too serious, always stressing about one or the other issue stealing her joy – so with her I have to more of a counselor.

I love the read and voted you up to the stars :)

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on September 15, 2012:

Faith, I truly appreciate your inspiring comment. Beauty is all around us, if we just open our eyes, minds and hearts. Happiness a natural bi-product!

Faith Reaper from southern USA on September 15, 2012:

What a lovely write here, and thank you so much for sharing yourself here and for the excellent advice. Especially, in the area of getting bogged down in the daily aspects of our lives, but to not allow that to be all-consuming. Yes, music does it every time, as it just takes you to another place in one's heart to be sure! I, too, am in sheer awe of His beautiful creation. God bless you dear one. Voted Way Up to the Heavens In His Love, Faith Reaper

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on September 15, 2012:

What a whirlwind, huh Maria? Are you breathing a sigh of relief? Are you happy? I see that brilliant smile my cyber sister!

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on September 15, 2012:

Gypsy, music is a definite "happy" maker! I'm glad you're enjoying this series. We've put a lot of hard work into coming up with the format. Hopefully, our efforts are paying off!

Maria Jordan from Jeffersonville PA on September 15, 2012:

Yeah, Sha... We are soul Sistas...the wind, solitude, oh how I relate to everything you have written, in your wonderful style.

Love everything about this... Voted UP and UABI. Hugs, Maria

Gypsy Rose Lee from Daytona Beach, Florida on September 15, 2012:

Voted up and awesome. All of you have put in hubs which are delightful and enjoyable and offer lots to consider. Be true to yourself always definitely. Also I find that any music which I used to love years ago I get on YouTube and instant feeling of goodness and happiness because of the memories it brings. Passing this on.

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on September 15, 2012:

Mohan, we've come a long way in a month's time, haven't we? Getting to know each other is a blast. This series will bring us even closer. Your comment touches my heart.

Now, I've got to check out the rest of the gang!

Shauna L Bowling (author) from Central Florida on September 15, 2012:

Bill, you always seem to be at the ready. I love that about you. Your comments and encouragement continue to feed my soul. Thank you my friend!

Mohan Kumar from UK on September 15, 2012:

Beautiful, touching and true, Sha: your vivid inner landscape and your warm philosophy about life in endearing. I loved reading about what makes you happy as it made ME happy. Wonderful perspective.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on September 15, 2012:

That was beautiful Sha; more glimpses into who you are, and what you are, and who you want to be. Wonderful share....I for one think you are fantastic and I appreciate learning more about your desires and loves. Thank you for this!

Related Articles