I am one of those people that can be completely moved by the passion of music but am also keenly aware I cannot carry a tune at all. I am also uncoordinated and so although I tap my foot and clap my hands to the beat without error, I can’t really dance well either. I am pretty sure I resemble Elaine’s dancing prowess from an old Seinfeld episode. I am mostly okay with this though. I have other talents, and I do sound great singing to my iPod when the volume is turned way up in my car, so there is that.
I do in fact sing often in my car. You know those people you may laugh at who look like they’re putting on a concert in their car while stopped at a red light? That could be me. I am there, in the protected shell of my little blue Scion, with my mouth open wide, just belting it out. But that would be the only time I would allow myself to do that. There is not enough alcohol in the world to get me onstage on karaoke night. It is better this way, trust me.
There are some people that do have this musical talent though and are just too shy to share it with others. Being who you are, allowing yourself to be vulnerable to criticism is no small task. It can feel no less threatening than walking down the street naked. Putting your true self out in the open without the guards and shackles we are accustomed to harnessing ourselves under can feel incredibly threatening.
I am a regular attendee at the high school chorus functions where my step son is commonly referred to as “Supah Tenah”. We are, of course, incredibly proud of him. But there is this one young girl in particular I identify with, even though I don’t know her name. She reminds me of a younger me. She is tall and very thin and she has long brown hair that often hangs in front of her face. Her own shield of sorts I’m sure. She always stands up there in that large chorus group and she sings with her mouth wide but her shoulders are slumped forward and her eyes are always looking down toward her feet, like it takes everything she has to even be physically up there on that stage.
I have been that girl. I feel her pain. She has no idea how beautiful she is, inside and out. She has no idea because she is likely repeatedly telling herself that she is not enough. I want to reach out to her. I want to take her by the hand and hug her and assure her she has so greatly underestimated her worth. I don’t do this because I think she’ll likely think I’m crazy, but I want to.
I know this desire to help her is my need to heal my younger self as well. One of my greatest talents is self doubt. I share this because I think it is such a common thread. Why is it we are so well programmed to recognize the greatness in others but not in ourselves? There is so much truth in that we are our own worst critic. We so often dwell in the shadows, breathing softly so as to not make a sound.
Just for today, I will try to sing without the iPod drowning out my own voice. I will try to be less critical of my flaws. I will try to not think of myself in terms of being less than. I will not hide.
Just for today I invite you to do the same. It does no good to try and make this some sort of goal for the unseen future. Just do it for today. Take a risk. Stand up with your shoulders back and your head high. Sing, speak and be heard like you know your presence matters. Our voices were not meant to be silenced, our breath is not meant to be shallow . It does the world an injustice to not make our essence known and our gifts shared with those that care to listen.
Just for today, I challenge you to allow your vulnerability to shine through as your strength.
Seriously, try it.
Just for today.
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I am a 42 year old mother of 3, living in Florida with my partner and youngest child. Like the mythological phoenix, I have been reborn out of the ashes of my former way of life and have, for the last several years, set out on an exploration of self expression through visual art and creative writing. I am immensely grateful to feel a part of every living thing in existence and the emergence of a growing evolution of consciousness within and throughout. I am interested in all aspects of energy healing and spiritual transformation and have just recently become a student of Reiki. I understand there is always a choice and I try to choose love over fear at every turn. I am grateful for all of the other women in this group and for their ever present support and guidance. Jennifer Bothast