"Be courageous, be courageous!" This is the statement that Pope Francis recently made to a young student he was urging to sing to him. She had just shared with him the story of her childhood and the struggles she had overcome. At his request she shared with him and the crowd watching a very vulnerable part of herself and something she stated helped her get through the hard times in her life. Music had uplifted her and helped her be strong. She was hesitant at first and you could tell that she was feeling shy about singing in front of everyone. She was possibly thinking that people would judge her and she would be embarrassed. Turns out she had a beautiful voice with a heart and energy that was sweet as well as comforting. Singing in front of the Pope and an audience was hard for her, but when she finished she had uplifted others through sharing her joy and she was uplifted as well by their support.
Every one of us has a gift. Sometimes these gifts are things that we feel make us different than others and we are shy about sharing. Everyone is different and that is miraculous! My sweet grandma used to love to say, "If we were all the same life would be really boring!" What is unfortunate about us not sharing our gifts and being afraid of being different is that it keeps the power we have to make a change in the world silent. If we keep our gifts silent we never get to be uplifted by the energy it gives us and others. Silence of our gifts keeps change in the world from happening.
There are always going to be people that criticize what you share, but that criticism is not about you. That criticism is about them being afraid of what your change your gift will bring to the world. Don't worry about criticism, share anyway. Even if your gift only ever makes a small change with one person, that is amazing. Think about the people that you are reaching, touching, uplifting and encouraging to do the same. One small change you make in the world can vibrate into a huge change.
Get out there and create, share, and send loving positive energy to others. Depression and anxiety thrive on keeping your voice, your gift, quiet. Just because your gift looks different than someone else's does not make it wrong, it makes it yours. Someone out there right now is looking for something, searching for understanding and it may be your words or actions that make them feel understood or validated. Throw your pebble in the water and watch the ripples. The world needs your gift!