to thine own self be true

Maybe it's a degree in English literature...

Or a love of all things Shakespeare inspired by Mr. Hoff (my high school English teacher)...

Or that I have seen Hamlet performed more than most...

But I LOVE this quote because it's so encouraging when people 400 years ago were dealing with the same things as us. 

Naturally (for an English literature enthusiast), I did a little research on what good old WS meant by this because I have noticed that this quote is often used to justify being true to ourselves.

And as I dug around, I was delighted to learn that it's even better than that.

According to my research, Hamlet's father was telling him to take care of himself first.

Lately, I have noticed that it so hard for most of us to put ourselves first.

Perhaps it doesn't feel like it's a "good" choice because it's somehow irresponsible to put ourselves before others.

Or we just have too many obligations to believe it's even possible to take care of ourselves.

Either way, I'm here to tell you that you have permission to take care of yourself first.