Originally printed in Covenant Health Grey Nuns Community Hospital – Women’s Wellness Program Newsletter – Fall 2014-Reprinted with Permission
For my own good, I was taught at a very early age that I was not to brag about myself or take too much pride in my talents or achievements. That way, I wouldn’t be tempted to feel that I was better than anyone else. Plus, the less visible I was, the less of a target I would be for any bullies lurking in the shadows.
While that lesson was meant to keep me safe, it also kept me from marching to my own drum. In the chorus of life, I either let others sing or I quietly hummed the music of moderation – a steady alto to accompany others’ deep bass or high soprano.
In the movie, Shirley Valentine, our heroine says, “I am leading such a little life. Why have I chosen to lead such a little life, when inside I am so much more?” That line struck a chord of discontented memory for me. I thought of all the things I’d dreamed of doing, but hadn’t done for fear of not being good enough or worthy enough of anything beyond everyday life and mere survival.
The music to thrive was in me, but I didn’t know how to read the notes. As I aged, my voice seemed to get weaker and weaker. Because I talk for a living, I got worried. So for my 50th birthday, I gave myself singing lessons. My wise singing instructor said, “If you can talk, you can sing.” She proved after weeks of lessons that I was quite capable of high soprano – I was not an alto. What a thrill to hear my own voice soar to previously unimagined heights!
These days I’m dedicated to testing out the tunes of majesty and magnificence. For I’ve come to know that, regardless of how we use it, each of us has a unique and special voice – a gift that no one else has. Marianne Williamson, in her book, A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of A Course in Miracles says,
“Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do.”
When I courageously share my voice with you, you are uplifted. When you are equally brave in sharing your voice with me, I am uplifted. Together, our voices blend in perfect harmony to create a
rhapsody like no other. The magic is in the music – you are that music – you are that magic.
What will happen when you let your own special voice soar?