She buttons the last dress, slips the final hair bow into place, and takes a deep breath. They are being unusually cooperative for a Sunday, so she allows them to just be. The music in the background persuades them to twirl in their dresses around and around. Over and over again they go, and she can hear them singing.
The music is in her too. She feels it today. A newfound hope to keep trying, to keep going, to keep living her life and being brave. She holds back a lot, but not today.
Today she feels alive, and she can finally hear her own melody.
She slips into the bathroom to fix her own hair—usually straight, but today it’s curled. She twists a thick piece of it into a braid and carefully pins it to the side. Today is a symbol.
A symbol that she will try harder to sing her own song. To show up, at last, in ways she’s afraid to. To finally let her cracks be visible, to let vulnerability seep in—and to stop holding back, and let her goodness show.
Holding back is so comfortable, but so is letting go.
She runs her hand over the braid, a commitment in her heart. She’s going to be a little truer, love a little deeper, challenge her fear, and finally play her music.
No longer a dusty violin that’s seeking permission to play. (Validity and acceptance first; only then will it play.) For she’s slowly learning that that’s not how the violin wants to be played. The violin wants to play without permission to play. It longs to triumph over feelings of insecurity, and so that’s the only way it must play.
So she packs them up in the car and heads to church, her husband in hand. It’s a new week and a new chance for her to show her colors and be who she knows she can be.
To the one who’s not singing her song:
1. Open your heart.
Our hearts aren’t meant to be caged, but sometimes we can’t help but slowly build the walls. Self-doubt, insecurity, overwhelm from too many things; it’s all there and it’s all real. We can slowly open the door though, and allow ourselves to be who we were meant to be.
2. Allow vulnerability.
Opening our hearts can lead to something else: Vulnerability at its finest.
We can’t open our hearts without it costing us something, but surprisingly, sometimes, that’s all we ever really wanted. To feel human, to feel alive, and to allow ourselves to experience weakness. For first comes the weakness, and then comes the strength.
“Vulnerability is not about fear and grief and disappointment. It is the birthplace of everything we’re hungry for.” Brené Brown
3. Let go of misconception and guilt.
There are talents and strengthens that only *you* possess. There is no shame in letting yourself show. Our thoughts can sometimes mislead, causing us to believe things about ourselves that never were true.
Believe in yourself, you’ve got something important to do.
You’re learning after all. The past is your schoolbook, and you are getting stronger every day. There is nothing to be gained from wishing for what we could have been; only hope for the future and what we surely can be.
Offer yourself the gift of grace. If you feel you’ve been sub-par in the past—forgive. Perhaps you were doing the best that you could, and growth is a beautiful thing.
5. Don’t be afraid to sing your song.
Let the music out and allow yourself to flow. Put the badge of wholehearted living on your shoulder and show up as who you really are. The world needs your piece, it needs the richness of your gifts, and as you start to sing, others will want to do it too.