“Be yourself. Above all, let who you are, what you are, what you believe, shine through…” (John Jakes)
So later, when federal agents told me they were coming to inventory my possessions for seizure, unexpectedly came the thought into my mind, “You should hide some of your jewelry, no one will every know, and then you’ll have something to sell to help feed your children and keep them alive.” I was shocked! I’d been honest my entire life—my parents had taught me not to eat even a grape from the bunch at the grocery store without paying for it first; at great inconvenience I’d driven back to stores that had given me a few incorrect cents of change, and now I’d had the thought to, basically, steal something? (Granted, they HAD been MY things, not to mention the stakes were very high for me personally, but I never anticipated ever having such a thought.)
However, within moments I decided, “I am not going to change who I am just because someone else was never who they professed to be!” So I didn’t hide anything, I even reminded the investigators of my jewelry when they came to my home.
The bad news? Yes, my jewelry was seized and I lost an asset I could have sold and used to begin a new life with. The good news? I remained true to myself and who I’d always been. And it’s always worth it to remain true to yourself, on every level and in every way. Always. No matter what happens.
And when you do that, you’ll survive; you’ll be ok. You may not have all the jewelry you wish you had, but you’ll be ok! You’ll have a different kind of “richness” in your life that no one can seize from you.
“Ordinary riches can be stolen, real riches cannot. In your soul are infinitely precious things that cannot be taken from you.” (Oscar Wilde)