Being ‘Good’ or Being ‘True’

by Sara Harris, BHSc, Melbourne, Australia

For the most part of my life I have been very conscious of looking after myself. In fact, I used to pride myself on how healthy I was, even as a teenager. I went to the gym, played all sorts of sports, didn’t eat sugar and was careful about the amount of food I was eating. I was also one to do very well at school. Always on top of everything, producing quality and quantity and getting marks to confirm me as being a ‘good’ student. I was also involved in fund-raisers and the 40 hour famine each year… out to save the world!

Looking back now, it would be fair to say that I was living in a bit of a ‘drive’ – a drive to do well, to be good, to succeed and to be the best. It may seem as though there is nothing wrong with all of this, however my body was telling me that there definitely was. I would push myself through anything, constantly, at the expense of my body. Here I was thinking that I was looking after myself by doing all the right things, but I hadn’t considered that simply listening to my body ‘first’ was actually what was needed. I see now how I kept going to the gym when my body was tired, or how I was eating food because of what I had read or what I was told was good for me, without listening to what my body really wanted. And I would work until all hours of the morning to get things done, thinking that the work would be better the more time I gave it. But why did I not give the same consideration and dedication to my body, when it is the one actually doing all of the work?

Throughout these teenage years I suffered from severe period pain and had hay fever – I would begin each day sneezing a ridiculous 20 sneezes in a row!! It used to drive me craaaaaazzzzzzy, not to mention everyone else in the household. It was only when I began to consider the pace at which I was living that these things began to slowly change. I recognised that I couldn’t keep living in the same way because as much as I thought I was doing ‘good’, I was actually draining and exhausting my body.

It was around 3 years ago that I began to attend Universal Medicine events and, in particular, the Esoteric Women’s Presentations, where I began reflecting more on my life and how I had lived and how that has affected my body. So, granted, I had shifted gear and already seen the error of my ways in the pace that I was living, but now I was learning that there is also a quality that I can bring to life and to myself which is even more regarding of my body. I was beginning to learn about honouring myself and living in a loving way. This took it all to a whole other level, one that I welcomed with open arms. In doing this, it has been quite a journey to unravel and feel the layers of disregard and the dishonouring and unloving ways which had simply become part of the way I lived. But knowing now the difference between what I would call living a ‘good’ life and living a ‘true’ life, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

I now have no hesitation in saying that anything less than living in a very self-loving way is abusive to my body – and there are no two ways about it! What I know now is that there is an enormous power in the delicateness and loveliness of being a woman that I was missing before, being so caught up in the drive of succeeding and ‘being good’. There is actually nothing to ‘do’ as such, but the ‘doing’ is what I had so erroneously believed in all my life. However, it is certainly not the case that I now ‘do’ nothing either – I simply make sure that whatever I do is done while I stay present with my actions and aware of the feelings in my body. This may be in the way that I get out of bed in the morning, the way that I wash and dress myself, the way that I am at work and with people, the way that I prepare my food and the way that I eat. It is the way that I do all of these things whilst feeling my body and thereby honouring its rhythm. This is what is so lovely to feel; the tenderness in my body when I am truly honouring myself and living lovingly… because I’m worth it!

427 thoughts on “Being ‘Good’ or Being ‘True’

  1. “there is an enormous power in the delicateness and loveliness of being a woman” nothing to ‘do’ just be all that you already are.

  2. We should have lessons at school that teaches us how to be true not how to be good, Our society would then see far more rounded capable individuals.

  3. There would not be so much illness and disease in women if we were taught and brought up to be true rather then good.

  4. It’s an important conversation about the difference between what’s good and what’s true, and listening to the truth of the body is how we determine this. I also followed the ideals of “good” and looking for information from outside myself to tell me what’s healthy. I remember buying spirulina after reading it was a superfood and getting an upset stomach from it but persisting because of what I had read, because it was “good”. It’s a classic example of doing good for oneself when it’s not actually true for the body at all.

  5. Every movement that is made that is aligned to a belief, picture, ideal, and/or an investment we have on what life ‘should’ be is abuse to the body. We are not honouring our body but led by a force that destroys and harms the body. It is this force that causes illness and disease and as I become more aware of what this force feels like in my body, the more changes I am making that support and nourish my body.

  6. We’ll do anything when we don’t have Love for ourselves. Stop looking outside and build a beautiful connection within and there will come a point when these outside hooks will seem as dull as they truly are – next to our own gourgeousness.

  7. When we don’t try to be better, but just allow ourselves to be who we are (lovingly so), there’s no need to be good as we are simply true in everything we do… and this is the best we can offer to others

  8. What a world of difference being good or being true makes in ones life. I have tried being good but that never did work because no matter how good I tried to be it was never enough, being true is another matter, one I am learning more about each day as I feel more into my body and act from what I am feeling lovingly.

    1. Thanks Jill for your comment, it’s so true (!) what you have shared about being ‘good’ never being enough, it makes sense because who determines what ‘good’ is anyway? It’s probably a constantly changing ideal also with it’s opposite of being ‘bad’ always hanging over your head waiting for you to slip up. With being true we are really being true to ourselves, being ourselves, and honouring how we feel from the inside, instead of giving our power to an outside authority – of which there are many.

  9. Coming to realise that the more we are willing to be sensitive and express what we feel around us is about being true. The stigma of sensitive equating to being unstable or emotionally unsettle is far from true!

  10. There is a vast difference between being good and being true. Being good is the flip side of being bad . . . both from the same coin, so as to speak. Being true has nothing to do with good and bad it is to do with bringing your all . . .being all that you truly are.

  11. “anything less than living in a very self-loving way is abusive to my body ” Wow super enlightening. I am just going to sit with this……

  12. It’s sad and misleading that ‘looking after yourself’ and being healthy has come to mean pushing yourself and overriding when you are too tired to go to the gym or eating what you have been told is healthy rather than what you feel to. Without feeling what your body needs you will not have true health and the body will be under some strain.

  13. We think bombs and terrorists are the pinnacle of evil and surely they are supremely horrific – but have we stopped to consider the possibility that ‘good’ causes more devastation than any stick of dynamite?

  14. At the end of the day, being good leaves us feeling empty and depleted, whereas being true – i.e. doing what we feel to do, in line with our body’s natural rhythm, rejuvenates and restores us. Every day is an opportunity to practice this, a little bit more, and to register where we’re at at the end of each day.

  15. I agree this does take it to a whole new level of being true in the world, ‘ I was learning that there is also a quality that I can bring to life and to myself which is even more regarding of my body. I was beginning to learn about honouring myself and living in a loving way.’

  16. The amazing contradiction, if you pay attention to your body, take care of it and let your body run on love you actually can do so much more, because you run on a energy that never dries up. The body gets tired, tells you stop but the energy of love is limitless. But we can only run on love when we take care of the body to finest detail.

  17. There is a vast difference between the routines of what we do and the quality we bring to what we do. It is so easy to get caught in the drive to be something and yet all the while we simply are underneath.

  18. If each sneeze is a clearing, then you may have received a clearing that is much less disruptive than major illnesses.

  19. Doing a 40 hour fast is quite the undertaking, and especially for the sake of others. And it brings to light certain questions about what is being contributed to the greater whole when we are trying to make a difference. Which is why conversations about energy and quality are so important. Which is why this article is so important.

  20. Isn’t it weird how hard we work at trying to improve ourselves and prove how good (or even bad) we are when who we all already are at essence is way beyond anything we can even imagine from the improving / trying / good / bad space and all our trying gets in the way of being what and who we already are – and if all that is mouthful and long sentence that is nothing to the prison sentence we inflict on ourselves!!

  21. Having been good for most of my life, I can confirm that being good is not it. It doesn’t work, for you can still feel less and constantly need to prove yourself, which is exhausting. Being true, something that I am still learning, is very different. It’s an honouring of what you feel. I feel tired, I’ll go to bed early. Being true to ourselves allows us to make mistakes. When we are good mistakes are hard to bear. Being good is a set up for being perfect, which is impossible. Being true begins with us being honest and that is always a great start.

    1. Thank you Jennifer that was lovely to read, and a great expansion on the topic of being good or being true. Being good is complicated and agonising, being honest and true to ourselves rebuilds our relationship to our inner self, and is quite lovely to experience because we become more self loving and self honouring. Being good has nothing to do with love.

  22. Our whole education is set on being good and ignores being true – this is probably why we have so many teenage suicides, mental health problems and general discontent.

  23. It is so true Sara, it’s not necessarily what we do but rather the way we do what we do that counts and this has to include checking in with our body for if we don’t we are letting our heads run the show with little or no regard for what we are feeling in our body.

  24. There is a richness to life that flows naturally when we live with true purpose, with honouring our body and being, in contrast to the push and exhaustion that results from being in drive with the need to do more and more to have a small sense of some degree of satisfaction. I have experienced both in full and can attest that living with purpose is far more fulfilling, sustaining and inspiring the more I say yes to this way of living.

  25. I can certainly attest to the immense benefits of putting your body first, all of the time. It is the last thing many would call medicine, but I certainly would say it is absolute gold when it comes to our own overall health and well being not to mention enjoyment in life.

  26. Being good is a trap that keeps us caught in doing and neglecting being, ‘there is an enormous power in the delicateness and loveliness of being a woman that I was missing before, being so caught up in the drive of succeeding and ‘being good’. ‘

  27. We tick all the boxes yet we know it is not it. All my life I could never do things for very long because I knew it was not it. I felt a failure giving up and giving in and when I did stick to especially in my attachment to busyness and work it wasn’t long before I ended up ill. The discomfort or tension in my body has been and is my marker when something is not true. It is this tension that I have become friends with which supports me on my path of return unfolding the love I am.

  28. We make life so complicated trying to be good and get it right or from exactly the same energy rebel and be bad and so on and so forth – maybe because we enjoy the identification of being the one who is doing all that instead of simply BEING!

  29. We settle for ‘being good’ to avoid living what is TRUE because there is a part of us that knows the moment we live truth in a ‘house of lies’ (the world we as humans have created here on Earth) we get noticed and we get attacked simply because it threatens the very foundations we have allowed our world to be built upon as does it rock the boat of comfort we have let us as a humanity set sail on.

  30. We can be good at lies or truly good in living the truth. Which one we choose is our choice of energy in each and every moment.

  31. The moment we try to ‘do good’, we have separated from what is true. It is a trap many of us are yet to climb out of, for who can argue that ‘doing good’ has no virtue in a world that is sold ‘the bad’ that it moves in reaction to?

  32. Feeling our body and our quality as we move through our day makes so much sense and life definitely is more enjoyable when we live in this way.

  33. Reading this before my work shift and commenting after I was reminded during the day that my body knows how it wants to work and when I check in with myself the inner guidance is instantly there for me. It felt really stilling to open up to this guidance as opposed to the disturbing agitation that comes when in my mind.

  34. Great for me to read this blog today Sara as I am reflecting on the drive I have been in, so much gold offered in one blog. I love what you say here “I simply make sure that whatever I do is done while I stay present with my actions and aware of the feelings in my body.” This is the foundations for feeling awesome.

  35. At the end of the day it all boils down to fact of the energy that we chose to align to which will determine whether we are being true or being good.

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