“be yourself- not your idea of what you think somebody else’s idea of yourself should be.”
― Henry David Thoreau
Our truth is not found in the words or journeys of others.
Others can share their journeys, their observations, sensations and experiences. Many write eloquent prose to lure others to believe that their way is the way, more often to the detriment of the reader, and benefit to the writer. Through other’s words and images, we can find ourselves taken, attached to their success, their path, and ignore our own. The words within books and blogs, reflecting other’s stories, are helpful when we remember that, like a picture, they are but a rendition of another’s truth.
When we seek our own truth through experience and insights of others, we may find in those words confirmation or insights into our own journey. Beware!, for we often seek out words that confirm our “truth”, and not words as food and water for our own cultivation.
Other’s words and insights should be like rain – watering our own seeds of truth and exploration, and not become the seeds themselves. To take others words as our seeds is to ignore our own deep seeded truths (no pun intended). In so doing, we may one day wake up and find ourselves in someone else’s garden. And as pretty and luscious as that garden may be, it will be another’s – and not our own.
Masakatsu agatsu katsu ayame – true victory is self victory – is allowing our own seeds to grow – and allowing rain from other’s journeys to water our own seeds.
Read, learn, study and explore without never forgetting that a great temptation will forever exist to substitute another’s wisdom as our own. Wisdom can never come from outside of ourselves – it is cultivated through patient observation, equanimous being and loving acceptance of every moment.
Others have more eloquently, and succinctly, said the same thing. What nicer way to close.
“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson
“To be nobody-but-yourself — in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else — means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting.” – E.E. Cummings