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Ⓒ2019 Cindie Chavez
This week I’ve been preparing for Passover, the Jewish holiday that celebrates Israel’s freedom from Egyptian slavery, so my thoughts have been centered around freedom.
As a life and relationship coach my work doesn’t deal with the kind of oppression and slavery that the Israelites experienced in Egypt, but much of my work does deal with obtaining freedom of a different sort.
Today I was reminded of a poem that is loved by many –The Invitation, by Oriah Mountain Dreamer. This poem is a favorite of mine, but I had not read it for many years.
In reading it, 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 have heard many stories, particularly from women, about how 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.
There is no shame in wanting to meet someone else’s expectations. We all do it, it feels good to have someone express that they are happy with our work, or pleased with something we’ve done, or approving of some choice we’ve made. Most of us have had a desire to be acknowledged and validated practically from the time we were born.
But when we meet other people’s expectations at the expense of fulfilling our own dreams and desires we are not truly free. We can become trapped in a web of needing approval and permission.
Other people’s expectations are narrow and constricting when they do not align with our true self, our own personal dreams and desires.
Your own dreams and desires are the guiding star on your life’s compass. It is imperative to pay attention to them. They are not there to be quashed, but to be fulfilled, and in doing so you fulfill your great work – the work of being who you are meant to be.
If you’ve failed at being true to yourself (and this is all of us at one time or another, yes?), if you’ve been waiting for “permission” (it has to come from you), then I’d like to offer another line from the same poem –
I want to know if you can live with failure, yours and mine, and still stand at the edge of the lake and shout to the silver of the full moon, ‘Yes.’
Your desire is a guiding light. Your great work is to be you.
The moon is full.
Permission is granted.
More by Cindie:
Cindie Chavez is known as “The Love & Magic Coach”. She is the creator of MOONTREAT™ – and she has some great free stuff for you at her website: www.cindiechavez.com
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