In her own words –
“Necesita saber a caer para luego poder a volar. You have to learn to fall to later be able to fly- a line from a song I learned as an exchange student in Costa Rica has stuck in my mind for the past 32 years. I sing it all the time thinking, what I am doing today to take flight? This is after decades of watching others get on the plane while I stood on stand-by wishing for an amazing life. I perceived myself as less than because I struggled so much to love myself. I was stuck in assumptions because of that one word that Brene Brown has helped me face- shame. It has been my biggest barrier to getting in the cab to the airport, stepping onto the plane, and putting on my safety belt.
But who do I think I am to be happy, accomplished, and loved? Who do I think I am inviting other people to jump into flight and face terrifying turbulence? Before my 40’s I had the fear that I was somehow unlovable. Even with rich friendships, incredible sons, a great career, and a loving husband, my shame took over my waking moments.
Growing up was rough. My parents did the best they could but it left me afraid and ashamed and hesitant. I worked so hard to be perceived as perfect with accomplishments I thought were necessary to be good enough. Now that I have a son in his 20’s I see my own shortcomings as a mom and am able to have empathy for my parents. I have forgiveness and that has transformed the shame into power. We have to forgive- it’s a gift to give ourselves. I remember an Oprah show where she said something along the lines that forgiveness is letting go of wishing the past had been different. Dang. When I first heard that it took my breath away. I thought, you mean all these years I could have let go of wishing my family had been closer and healthy? All I had to do is let go of the wishing game?
Now at 48 years, I truly let it go. I’m flying. Like REO Speedwagon, it’s time for me to fly, and I want you to join me. We are stronger together. There is so much divisiveness in the word today particularly given the state of political affairs in the U.S. There are many values we debate and use to make people feel less than or give them a sense that they don’t belong. But no one gets fulfilled that way. No one touches the clouds and soars that way. And we all are here to soar. I want to help folks get on the plane- you get to fly!
When Amy invited me to be part of her 52 Phenomenal Women project, I thought, why me? I prayed and asked Spirit what I should share to be part of us taking flight together. I started noticing. Friends would say thank you for listening, for being a mirror, for shining my light. My youngest son would snuggle into me. My husband would validate all the things I do around the house to keep the business of the family moving forward. That’s why me- I am an example of the power of letting go of shame, letting the past stay in the past, and of truly facing fears and just trying- trying to heal, to love abundantly, and to trust that this plane has room for me and all of us.“
Participants in this project will be supporting the efforts of Dress for Success Worldwide – Central. We are all stronger together and it is my sincere hope that we will be inspired by each other’s stories. Now is the time to celebrate as well as encourage one another. Tell your story!***