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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I started reading it and I knew it was your story. Uncannily true.
The idea is that your story is true and hence very deep. It is not fiction or someone else’s, it is your own. Experienced and narrated for greater good. To me there in lies its true essence. Honesty.
Most of us if decide to be honest to ourselves first the range of ideas called ‘being you’ can be effectively implemented…
Thanks, Richa. Yes, nothing is stranger than the truth! 😉
Corinne Rodrigues recently posted..Wise Compassion #MondayMusings #1000Speak
Wow! Thanks for sharing a personal story, Corinne. And yes, I cannot agree more. One should live life on one’s own accord. It makes a huge difference. I made some life changing decisions last month. I have been shouted at saying I’m merely being stupid. But the heart knows what it wants. 🙂 Loved your write!
Shalini recently posted..The Month That Was… #FebruaryRoundup #MondayMusings
I’m glad you’ve followed your heart, Shalini. I would love to know more, if I may. Wishing you all you need to be true to yourself.
Corinne Rodrigues recently posted..Be A Beginner Every Day #100WordsonSaturday
Corinne, The writing was so personal I guessed you were talking about yourself before you confessed as much. The writing here makes one’s heart wrench for the confusion in the girl whilst simultaneously being angered at the blithe carelessness of the people who told her she had the calling to be a nun. God’s wishes, God’s wrath….oh, behold, the most powerful weapon of them all. With respect for and no offense meant to any religion
Lata, thank you for your comment. Honestly, I bear no ill-will because having known these people they seemed sincere. Also, without them, I may have continued to be a wimp! 😉
Corinne Rodrigues recently posted..The Ache For Home Lives In All Of Us
So glad you didn’t settle. Thank you for sharing your story. It’s always good to hear that great things happen when you follow your heart.
I’m very glad too, Lori. Thank you!
I’m never really sure about words of prophecy. Sometimes they have an element of truth in them, but a lot of the time it’s the person’s own interpretation – in your case I think you have the heart of someone wanting to serve and do good. In the priest’s interpretation that means “nun” in someone else’s it means “lay person” and to someone else it can mean “godly person” I’m glad you found your path and your peace Corinne xx
You’re so right about the interpretation of prophecy, Leanne. I think that God talks to each of us intimately in our hearts and we must learn to listen to that ‘small still voice’ and follow it.
Through writing she discovered and became more ‘herself’.
How true is that! Writing helps us to think through things, structure our thoughts, and express and find ourselves. Nice to get some snippets of your journey and know about your inclinations, confusion, and the process of self discovery Corrine.
For better or worse, I have allowed a few Godmen to decide the paths of my life for a very long time. Now, I’ve reached a stage where even if all the Godmen of India were to ask me to do something, if I felt it wasn’t something I should do, I would walk away.
Life is a harsh teacher… but a teacher nonetheless
Roshan Radhakrishnan recently posted..Everything you Need to Know About the new Batman v Superman Movie Before Entering the Movie Hall
I’m sorry that you went through that, Roshan. Thank you for sharing. And yes, I’m certain that everything happens for a reason and it’s up to us to learn the lessons we’re being taught. Thank you for following your heart – you are an inspiration.
It was so personal .. so full of faith and belief .. you followed the path you wanted.. i’d say i salute your courage.. not everyone can hold that confusion in mind and still go on hoping and believing… inspired!!
Pratikshya Mishra recently posted..Reading Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami
Thank you, Pratikshya. I’m grateful for the grace and wisdom to hold on to my beliefs.
My take away from your story is that there are million ways to help people and we can never be punished for following out hearts..always better to be ourselves 🙂
Yes, Naba. Our heart knows what’s best for us.
I can only imagine the moments of doubts and faith that you must have gone through while following your inner voice. Listening to the same prophecy from two priests and still managing to believe in yourself is worth an applause. If one has the determination to help others, they don’t need to become a nun. Thanks for sharing this enlightening post.
Oh yes, it was more than moments, Ankita, it was years. Thank God for grace to stick to my heart’s calling.
When I started reading this post of yours, I could connect with it instantly. Because the first part of it is my story too. I was an altar girl and a lot of people told me that I have to become nun from the time I was a little girl. But that wasn’t what I wanted. I followed my heart. I help others in whatever little ways that I can. So far life has been okay. I don’t know what the future holds for me, but I am glad that I followed my heart.
Thank you for sharing, Reema. Thankfully there was no pressure from my family, Reema. I’m glad you followed your heart too.
Wow! To do good, there is more than one way. Following your heart is important and I believe rest all falls into place. Your story proves that. Lovely one Corinne. Very interesting and how I am yearning to know more 🙂
Parul recently posted..#MicroblogMondays – Gender & Venture Capital
Oh yes, there are so many ways to serve, Parul. And what more would you like to know? 🙂
Wow Corinne! This is amazing. Beautiful post! How I wished to be a nun when I was around seven or eight years of age, when some “religious” person told my parents that she’ll get married and then serve. I am ok with it now. This post reminds me of a friend, who shared her story of becoming a nun a few months back, and guess what, today morning I received a mail from her. 🙂
Payal Agarwal recently posted..Choose wisely #MondayMusings
Thank you for sharing, Payal. Funnily, despite our family being religious and having two uncles who were priests, I never went through the ‘I want to be a nun’ stage. This is why what happened was so confusing for me. I’d love to know more about your friend’s story.
So beautiful. I am so glad you met the love of your life. 😉 I love and share through my family. It is my mission field. You can have a calling to your family which allows them to serve Christ more fully and leads to even more salvation for others. Your writing is also a Gospel tool. God bless you for following your heart.
Thank you, Mary. You’re family is blessed to have you.
My heart breaks at the thought that someone could have influenced you to follow a path that was not your heart’s desire. He may have been well-meaning, but he was wrong.
Thank you, Carol.
It’s so inspiring and amazing that for so many years you trusted your instinct, kept your faith alive. Many falter but you didn’t and that’s why now we get to read this beautiful story of yours. Thank you for sharing it. I loved the poem too.
Rajlakshmi recently posted..Of Makiko, Yoko & Digging Nose
I’m glad the poem and my story spoke to you, Rajlakshmi.
I’m so glad you realized that you needed to follow what was in your heart and not what other people were telling you. It’s your path to walk, not theirs.
I’m so glad too, Jennifer. This is why I refrain now from advising people on what I think they should do.
How many of us do things because we think we’re “supposed to” or because we don’t know ourselves well enough yet? It can be a very sad life indeed when our heart is not in our choices. Thanks for sharing your story, Corinne!
So true, Lisa. This is why I am so keen on pushing the idea of self-awareness and self-acceptance.
Loved this post, Corinne. I honestly believe that God puts talents and desires into our hearts. I also believe He is exceedingly happy when we find ways to serve others and make a difference in this world with those talents and desires.
What a lovely post Corinne. Also reaffirms the belief that better late than never . It requires courage to share such a personal story and skill to keep it objective. I hope one day I too find the me in me.
Amazing amazing post. I want to know more about that girl of 18 years. This post strengthens the fact that our heart knows the best for us, thougb things may not be clear on the outset. I am proud to say I found myself through writing.
Well written post, Corinne !!! Happy that you followed your heart and found your Mr. Right. Everything happens at the right time. Sharing personal stories are daring !!! Hats off to you for this !!!
Hi, Wow. I can imagine how the Sister Corinne would look.
Glad that u followed ur heart. Very personal post and glad u did not crumble down.
Nice post, great approach to your post to share . Thanx for your perspective!
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