Note from the Heart: Let Your Light Shine
As we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” — Marianne Williamson
For years, I grew up loving the stage. Singing, moving, and offering people a reason to smile, get excited, and get motivated — or just feel moved emotionally.
It allowed them a moment to get in touch with a part of themselves, so that when walking away following the experience, they felt moved to take action.
Perhaps that action is calling a loved one after remembering how short life is. Or maybe it’s laughing to themselves after realizing certain things they felt were the biggest deal...really weren’t.
After releasing the pressure, they have a little more freedom to soften, release, and give themselves a break.
I’ve also (even though I had always been told different ways) felt as though I was a bit of an imposter in certain
areas of my life - like I was there by pure luck and not qualification.
For no reason other than it decided after listening to the voice inside my head.
As a teenager, I compared myself to all the other girls and, as I have gotten older, I continued comparing myself to the women around me.
Over the years, I’ve created stories about myself, stitched together by the experiences and voices of others.
This has created a quilt of experiences that has become, at least to me, the story of who I am, what I have done, and what my life means, both to myself and to others.
However, after my grandmother died last fall, I had a moment of clarity that was precipitated by shame.
Shame that my Nana had believed in me and my talents so much, yet I did not have that same view or faith in myself.
As a result, she would never get to see me step into those roles she knew I could fill, but never did, because I I was too fearful to put myself out there.
I struggled, because I didn’t view myself the way she viewed me - as a child of God who was put on this earth to fulfill a mission with the talents I have been given and the drive and heart that was a reflection of her own.
At only 34, she had 7 kids, lost her husband to cancer, and had to figure out how to step into the role of mother and caregiver for an entire brood!
She had received her R.N. from Bellevue Nursing School, and went on to graduate with the first class of nurse practitioners through Cornell University and the New York City Department of Health, where she worked for over 25 years in child and adolescent health.
Everyone felt special around her and her family was everything to her. I was her first grandchild of what would be a group of 13 grandkids and our bond was incredibly close. I miss her everyday.
When she passed, I realized that the most amazing gift she left me was the love she had for me. Through her love, I felt not only connected to what I really wanted and who I really was, but also with her.
Because of the faith she had, my own faith grew — in my higher power and in myself.
Her faith was so strong that even if you didn’t believe - you believed that she believed enough for the both of you.
She was the type of person who, when you were in her presence, trulysaw your soul.
Having her in heaven has increased my faith in my higher power, the universe, and God...but in myself.
I’ve stopped fighting who and what I am by trying to water it down.
I don’t hide my singing voice, but use it at the end of my classes and in local theater productions.
I’m getting more comfortable every year with putting myself out there in a way that feels scary, but pushes me to sing and play more - which is something that makes my heart indescribably happy.
I have seen how softening into my deepest desires has helped me release anxiety about the future, because I don’t feel like I need to grip and claw my way through anymore.
I simply take action on a daily basis that is in line with my values, talents and deepest desires - so that I not only fulfill my own destiny, but I make it alright for others around me to do so as well - the same way Nana did for me and so many others.