BY ANN RENNIE
If you live the life you love you will receive shelter and blessings. Sometimes the great famine of blessings in and around us derives from the fact we are not living the life we love; rather we are living the life expected of us. We have fallen out of rhythm with ... our own nature.
– Irish poet-philosopher John O’Donohue
As I grow older I am trying more than ever to live the life I love, following my heart, seeking comfort and joy in the things that matter to me, being nourished by the people and ideas that speak to my soul.
It wasn’t always thus and I am glad that the journey of the years is now funding a gathering wisdom. This wisdom does not dismiss the mistakes and disappointments made along the way - there were marvels and adventures too – but this rhythm is part of a new music.
The 1960s song The Rhythm of Life proclaimed that life had a powerful beat with its tingle in your fingers and tingle in your feet. Our life’s work is to find our own beat and celebrate it.
Most of us are in necessary thrall to the twin ties of duty and expectation. This is no bad thing, when they become the foundation stones for decency and integrity and the values that bind us together as a community. But it is not happy or healthy or life-giving if we deny a core part of who we are-if we masquerade ourselves to satisfy goals that others have set for us.
When we find our own rhythm we find a freedom, a truth to tell. We can inject a new beat into the dailiness of our lives, jazz them up. This is not an abnegation of the necessary roles we must play, but an added dimension which means we are not afraid to do something differently, to follow the road less travelled, to offer a strong opinion or to revisit the teenage dream and touch it tremulously because it hasn’t yet disappeared.
Sometimes in finally finding that rhythm we briefly upset the pre-recorded rhythm of others because their picture of us has to be redrawn or reconfigured, even reassessed, but it is a necessary adjustment if the truth is to be held high; if the truth of who you are in heart and soul is not to be camouflaged by the title, dress, income and postcode of what you do and where you do it.
When we find our rhythm of life we are blessed and sheltered.
We live, tinglingly in tune with who we truly are.
And the beat goes on.
Ann Rennie is a Melbourne writer who also teaches senior students in a Catholic girls' school. Her book The Secret Garden of Spirituality (Reflections on Faith, Life and Education), was published last year by Michelle Anderson.
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