A high school English teacher of mine earnestly loved and appreciated everything Shakespeare. She had a wonderful talent for instilling that enthusiasm in her students, including me. Taking advantage of this interest, my mother would often quote to me Shakespeare’s well-known phrase from Hamlet: “To thine own self be true.”
She confessed to me that it was her “mom’s way” of reminding her daughter to make right choices during my years of self-discovery in high school and college. I knew this meant I should make right choices and do the right thing, including being thoughtful and kind to others, being honest, and above all, being moral and virtuous in my relationships.
But until I became a student of Christian Science, I struggled with who it was that I should be true to. My “self” seemed to be a combination of perceptions and influences, most of which I had no control over—family, heredity, culture, and in some cases, education. My accomplishments, mistakes, and interests seemed based on a human personality that reflected material laws, personal opinions, and human history. And, unfortunately, this sense of personality was my point of reference for viewing—judging—others.