Recently I was involved in a rite-of-passage commemoration for my dear friend, Rebekah. Prior to the ceremony, she asked me to sing several songs at the service. I was honored to do so, as well as be in the presence of so many of her loving, caring, supportive friends.
During the festivities my friend was honored by poems, prayers, and blessings, brought by the invitees as gifts to be shared and read aloud.
Rebekah’s longtime friend, Joan, read a poem that is loved by many –The Invitation, by Oriah Mountain Dreamer.
This poem is a favorite of mine, but I had not heard it for many years. It was a powerful thing to hear in the midst of this celebration. One of the lines pierced me through like an arrow:
I want to know if you can disappoint another to be true to yourself. If you can bear the accusation of betrayal, and not betray your own soul.
I consistently hear from clients that they made this or that choice because they did not want to disappoint someone in their life—a parent, a spouse, a child, a teacher, a lover, a friend—and yet, years later the one that suffered the most from disappointment was the very person who did not want to disappoint.
So often we want permission to do, be or have something and when we do not get permission (or assume that we will not) we settle for something else. We betray our own soul in an effort to keep from disappointing someone else.
My friend, Rebekah, shared many stories about her life, and about the many expectations that other people had for her from the time of her childhood. Other people’s expectations are narrow and constricting when they do not align with our true self, with our own dreams and goals. Rebekah found freedom from that narrow place when she began to be true to herself and who she really is at her core.
Is there something you really want to be, do, or have?
What would you do differently if you knew that you were safe, supported, and couldn’t make a mistake?
How about just giving yourself permission?
Here’s to being true to yourself,