It's sometimes quite hard for me to stay true to myself. I've developed many theories as to why that is (some accurate, some absurd, like much of my deep thinking). What it boils down to is this: I just haven't had much practice at it. It's not something I'm used to doing. So, in effort for me to be more true to myself — which is essential if I want to be true to others — I've drafted the following creed as a reminder of who I am, something I can refer to and modify throughout the year and hopefully throughout my life. The old Myke would hope that you like it; the more true Myke hopes that you like it but doesn't take it too personally if you don't.
"One of the laws of paleontology is that an animal which must protect itself with thick armor is degenerate. It is usually a sign that the species is on the road to extinction." — John Steinbeck
I allow myself to be vulnerable because to live otherwise is to suffer. Vulnerability is an antidote to apathy. Vulnerability opens me to joy and pain. I graciously and gratefully accept joy. I don’t place myself in harm’s way, but I accept pain as a natural part of living life fully and allow my Savior to heal my pain.
"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others." — Marianne Williamson
While I am sensitive to the insecurities of others, I don't allow those insecurities to keep me from speaking, acting, or being true to myself. Being true to myself allows me to be true to others. My fears and insecurities belong to me and the fears and insecurities of others belong to them.
"There is no passion to be found playing small — in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living." — Nelson Mandela
"Make no little plans. They have no magic to stir men's blood and probably will not themselves be realized." — Daniel Burnham
I live my life with love, passion, and integrity. I dream big and I act in proportion to the size of my dreams. I’m more inclined to follow to an I want to and less apt to heed a you're supposed to, you need to, or you should.
"Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter." — Yoda
I am not a victim. I am not an object to be acted upon. I am friend, brother, son, husband*, and father*. I recognize, acknowledge, and honor the great power and strength I possess, and I recognize, acknowledge, and honor the power and strength in others. I have the potential to become like God but I am not Him. I take responsibility where I can and where appropriate. I allow others the privilege of responsibility. It is a privilege and pleasure to lend help and support, but I leave the duties of rescuing and saving to God and to the Savior. I do not control or manipulate the choices of others, nor does God.
"In the world ruled by tigers with ulcers, rutted by strictured bulls, scavenged by blind jackals, Mack and the boys dine delicately with the tigers, fondle the frantic heifers, and wrap up the crumbs to feed the sea gulls of Cannery Row. What can it profit a man to gain the whole world and to come to his property with a gastric ulcer, a blown prostate, and bifocals? Mack and the boys avoid the trap, walk around the poison, step over the noose while a generation of trapped, poisoned, and trussed up men scream at them and call them no-goods, come-to-bad-ends, thieves, rascals, bums. Our Father who are in nature, who has given the gift of survival to the coyote, the common brown rat, the English sparrow, the house fly and the moth, must have a great and overwhelming love for no-goods and blots-on-the-town and bums, and Mack and the boys." — John Steinbeck, Cannery Row
My wants, needs, and desires are not unreasonable nor are they out of my reach and I am open to receiving what I want, need, and desire from others. My heart is good and I want want, need, and desire good things. To want, need, and desire makes me part of the human community. I am proud to belong to several communities: a community of family, a community of friends, a community of worshipers, a community of co-workers, a community of humans, and a community of God’s children. God has given me purpose within each community and I am happy to give to and receive from each. I trust God, that He knows me intimately and perfectly, and that He sees that my needs are met, by Him, myself, or someone else.
I am good, not perfect. I reserve the right to modify this document as I discover more Truth. In my quest to recover from the unhealthy habits and ways of being that I have adopted by birth, inheritance, circumstance, and choice, I know that slips, breakdowns, and mistakes are inevitable, OK, and even healthy; failure is a judgement and nothing more. I feel what I feel — happiness or sadness, joy or pain, love or hate, excitement or depression, calmness or anxiety — knowing that my feelings aren't always a true reflection of who I am, what I want, or what I am committed to.
P.S. I really did try to work in some Creed lyrics into my creed but they just didn't fit.
P.P.S. And yes, I'm aware of the irony of referring to so many quotes by other people in a document about being true to me. Like I said, I'm somewhat new to this.