When a woman in a certain African tribe knows she is pregnant, she goes into the wilderness with a few friends and together they pray and meditate until they hear the song of the child. They recognize that every soul has its own vibration that expresses its unique flavor and purpose. When the women attune to the song, they sing it out loud, return to the tribe, and teach it to everyone else.
When the child is born, the community gathers and sings the child’s song to him or her. Later, when the child enters education, the village gathers and chants the child’s song.
When the child passes through the initiation to adulthood, the people again come together and sing. At the time of marriage, the person hears his or her song. Finally, when the soul is about to pass from this world, family and friends gather at the person’s bed, just as they did at his or her birth, and they sing the person to the next life.
In the African tribe there is one other occasion upon which the villagers sing to the child. If the person commits a crime or aberrant social act, the individual is called to the center of the village, the people in the community form a circle around him and sing the person’s song. The tribe recognizes that the correction for anti-social behavior is not punishment; it is love and the remembrance of identity. When you recognize your own song, you have no desire nor need to do anything that would hurt another.
A friend is someone who knows your song and sings it to you when you have forgotten it. Those who love you are not fooled by mistakes you have made or dark images you hold about yourself. They remember your beauty when you feel ugly; your wholeness when you are broker; your innocence when you feel guilty; and your purpose when you are confused.
You may not have grown up in an African tribe that sings your song to you at crucial life transitions, but life is always reminding you when you are in tune with yourself and when you are not. When you feel good, what your are doing matches your song, and when you feel awful it doesn’t.
Just keep singing your song and you’ll find your way home to yourself.