Obedience (to Oneself)


I stumbled across the Misty Copeland story on Elephant Journal. Something about that dream-crushing line from the rejection letter she received at the tender and malleable age of thirteen really stoked the coals of defiance for me. Imagine:

“You have the wrong body for ballet.

What proper course exists when the realities of the body with which you’ve been bestowed frustrate the desire that sings in your heart? There are two warring camps to help answer this question: the voices that advocate a pragmatic recognition of limitations, and the opposing chorus of “Never give up.” Each thinks the other suffers from tunnel vision, and at different twists in the journey toward something evasive but not impossible, each argument delivers a powerful sway. Robert Frost iconically lamented the conflict inherent to choice.

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,

…long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;

Once, when I was facing just such a fork in the road with many exterior voices pressuring me in one direction or another, I returned to my meditation circle after a long absence for some clarity. At the end, our group leader pulled out a deck of cards and asked me to draw one. When I flipped it over to see the heading, “Angel of Obedience,” I felt a flare of anger at the idea of obeying anyone until I read further to find,

I follow my soul’s guidance…the only true obedience is to the soul.

I’ve been thinking a lot over the past week about the rest of my embryos, and how this public loss will only magnify the patronizing looks and commentary from people who put significant stock in limitations.Β  I think I’ll take the note from Ms. Copeland and carve out my own road to happiness because, sometimes, “will trumps fate.”

14 thoughts on “Obedience (to Oneself)

  1. I agree. My will to be pregnant and have a child was greater than the fate my eggs were given. I hope (and sense) that your will is much greater than the fate you have been dealt, as well. You have an unwavering strength that I haven’t encountered in the blogosphere in a while. You are a warrior.


  2. It is a sobering comparison — that idea of life turning you away because you lack the “body” that goes with the task.

    I love the idea of obedience only to one’s own soul.


  3. Beautiful comparison, if a hard one. I love the idea of obedience to YOURSELF and no one else… I wish you peace as you make your decisions and continue down your personal path that no one should judge. Peace to you.


    • Yes, and I think the best way to make clear-headed decisions without outside pressure is just to really be quiet about it. File that under lessons learned along the way.


    • Idk, the decisions get murky sometimes, esp when you’re plum exhausted and what feels right requires you to pick yourself up and keep going in one direction or another. Gotta know when to take a break, when to push, when to shift, and that takes soul searching.


  4. Thanks for sharing this amazing story. We have a saying that translates to “where there’s a will, there’s a way”. You are so strong, and you will find your way.
    Also, I’d have had the same reaction to “obedience” πŸ˜‰


  5. Love this! I think this is so much the truth – that you have to take stock of your own life/hopes/dreams/etc and forge your individual pathway based on those, no matter what other people say. Like several of the other commenters, I really like the idea of obedience to one’s soul.


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