“A fear of disagreeable facts, and conscious shrinking from clearness of light, which keep us from examining ourselves, increases gradually into a species of instinctive terror at all truth, and love of glosses, veils and decorative lies of every sort.”
John Ruskin, 1887
What does it mean to be authentic? Does it mean that you have to share every passing thought, desire, opinion and passion with whomever will listen? Do you have to follow every fancy, eat whatever you’re craving because well, you gotta be you? Not for me, no. “To thine own self be true” is something I try and live every day which is not to be confused with self-centeredness, narcissism or lack of self-restraint. Sometimes it involves making life-altering choices; other times it’s seemingly inconsequential, however when such “little” decisions are strung together over time they look a lot like a lifestyle.
So why then do I sometimes feel like I need permission to be myself? And from whom does this permission need to come? What if it never comes to pass?
Continue reading “Thank you, Lawrence Wishner & Elizabeth Taylor”
According to sartorial experts writing for Esquire and Country Life, famed New England author, poet and essayist Emerson once declared: “The sense of being perfectly well dressed gives a feeling of inward tranquillity which religion is powerless to bestow.”
No, he did not say that! That statement is the antithesis of that for all he stood! Here is the quote and context that appeared in Works of Ralph Waldo Emerson, 1883 and Letters and Social Aims, 1885: Continue reading “Fake Quote Patrol: Emerson Never Said This”
I acquired this little Victorian-era birthday greeting in a box with other small antique booklets and cards at an auction house in the early 2000s. It had a very powerful impact on me when I read it, but at some point it got placed in storage and so did the words that speak the resolve to be true to ourselves. (I’ve learned over the years that authentic people are the only people that really matter to me.) Recently I rediscovered this and hope to never put it out of my mind and heart. Perhaps it will speak to you, too. Continue reading “Resolution: Victorian-Era Advice Worth Following”