To thine own self be true
This above all, to thine own self be true, and it must follow, as the night the day, thou canst not be false to any man.
This is from William Shakespeare's Hamlet, Act 1, Scene 3, Line 84 – 86. Spoken by the character Polonius to Laertes, who was struggling with indecision.
It's a great quote, impregnated with so much wisdom. Yet a person can't be true to themselves until they know themselves. You'd think, we've lived with ourselves all our lives, so naturally, we must know ourselves by now.
Ironically, what's true is, we only have an impression from our experiences as to who we are. These experiences have not only informed us as to how we respond, through their feedback loops, but the scars left from them have complicated and clouded the image of ourselves along the way. So our responses become less about our true self and more about the influences upon our lives, conditioning us to think in contaminated manners.
This world is filled with fetters competing for our 'selves.' What we all desire is an ongoing unfettered clear response in life.
Of ourselves, this is impossible, as in every effort with which we attempt to achieve this, we complicate our clarity by handling it with these stained hands, spreading the contamination to everything we handle, in our thoughts.
Consequently, it follows, we can't know our self to be true to it. We need an outside, immutable, clear-knowing source to share with us what has been done to distort our true selves and who we truly are without this distortion. Someone who has the record of our life's design before the distortion took place.
It follows naturally, logically, God is the one with that record and the only one who can infuse our lives with our original design. What remains is the ability to prevent that design from becoming distorted again. The world will not have changed, those around us will not have changed, conditions and circumstances will not have either. So what we would need is an infusion of another life, to aid us, which has no capacity to become scarred by what this world holds. It must have taken this world on, remained unfettered by its distorting influence, and defeated each garbled impulse, including the ravages of the daily dying we all experience as we compromise our way through our days.
God, through Christ, has found a way to impart Himself to us within, so we can draw on and be taught by Him to live beyond the world's distorting influences. This is the only way we can be given a clear sustaining image of our lives to be true to.
When this quote shares, it will follow, we will then not be false to anyone; this is also pointing to the personal integrity, engendered by this one and only good feedback loop. As we accept what God has offered in Christ, we come to know God as the one who moved to save us from ourselves and this world. We come to be able to see God as He intended us to see. We come to be given clear eyes and a desire to pursue a life far greater and cleaner than we ever had imagined was possible. He provides the strength and clarity by the indwelling Christ, and we actually find an unfettered existence in deliberate union with Him.
So it follows, as the night the day, in being true to God, we are enabled to know and be true to our own self and others.