Let me tell you a story. A true one. And yes, you’re allowed to laugh. But after that, I’ll be glad if you give what I’ve shared a deep thought.
There was once a young girl, open and sensitive, warm hearted and generous, who wanted to make a positive difference in the world. Soon after high school, she had a deep religious experience. This led her to join a group of like-minded Christians who wanted to share their experiences in the hope that others too might have a similar experience.
As part of this group, she volunteered to help out with the arrangements for a programme in which a well-known priest prayed over ill and troubled people. After the service was over, the priest offered to pray over the volunteers. When it was the girl’s turn, she went with an open mind and a sincere heart. The priest prayed. Then he told her that he felt that she was being called to be a nun or to lead a single life dedicated to God’s service. This shook the girl very much. At 18, she knew that she didn’t want that. She wanted to be married and have a family. She was not clear about what work she would do, but she wanted to serve others. When she shared her experience with another ‘holy’ person, the priest’s words were confirmed. A short while later, she briefly met another priest, an uncle of a friend. Although it was a social meeting, her friend’s uncle seemed again to confirm the first ‘prophecy’.
This led to so much confusion in the girl’s mind and heart. She wanted to be faithful. She wanted to do what was ‘right’. But deep within her she could not accept and blindly follow what she was told. Sometimes she felt guilty, at other times she was determined to be true to her own inner voice.
She finished college, went on to work and decided to follow her heart. Strangely, despite her openness to marriage, she did not seem to find Mr Right. Some failed relationships. Heartbreak. Briefly, she wondered if she was being punished for her choice. But better sense prevailed. She knew that the God she believed in did work that way.
When at 41 she met and married Mr Right, she knew that she had been wise to follow her heart. Marriage also brought her gift of writing to the fore and through it she discovered and became more ‘herself’.
Today, she wants others too to discover who they are meant to be and choose to be themselves, no matter what others might say.
How do I know about this about this woman? Because this is my story.
I can identify so deeply with May Sarton’s poem.
Now I Become Myself
Now I become myself. It’s taken
Time, many years and places;
I have been dissolved and shaken,
Worn other people’s faces,
Run madly, as if Time were there,
Terribly old, crying a warning,
‘Hurry, you will be dead before-‘
(What? Before you reach the morning?
Or the end of the poem is clear?
Or love safe in the walled city?)
Now to stand still, to be here,
Feel my own weight and density!
The black shadow on the paper
Is my hand; the shadow of a word
As thought shapes the shaper
Falls heavy on the page, is heard.
My message to you today, dear reader.
Live life on your own terms. Refuse to conform. Follow your own path, even if the road seems rocky. Listen to your heart. Choose to be YOURSELF. Don't settle for less than that.Click To Tweet
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