Happy Sunday Blessings! We are Celebrating Inner Strength
(Part One of Two)
Hi there! Some of you who may have read a few of my posts, or heard some radio interviews, know that I have chosen to live my life according to my values: conviction, integrity, courage. My goals stem from those values, not the other way around. In the 1st post of the “Celebrating…” series, I talked about courage. Well, I have learned recently where there has been a hole inside of me—a value I have been missing and one I need to develop in order to be more congruent with my soul purpose –and thus, my goals. So now I have a 4th value: Inner Strength.
But before I do, I have to tell you why, because it’s also a “Celebration of My Sister”. Please forgive my meanderings in this post. I am seeing this value –Inner Strength- something my sister is very good at, in a new light, and am exploring it as I go.
My younger sister is my Hero. She has been my constant companion in childhood during our many moves, different schools, and she is the one who has understood and loved me unconditionally. She is also one of my best teachers in life; she has challenged me many times.
When I was in 4th grade, I had a hard time attending the first public school we had ever been in. I had just garnered my 15 minutes of fame and was smack in the middle of newspaper interviews and TV shows for having won “Young Miss California Universe”, a state title. That day, shortly before, Nicole Eggert of “Baywatch” and “Charles in Charge” was crowned also; she was only 5 then and had won “Little Miss California Universe”. The pageant system had lined up many skits, performances and a few TV appearances for the winners that year, mainly in Los Angeles, where the state pageant had been held. My family and I lived in a very small town that was close to San Francisco—a city that was interested in such events. It was my second break in the entertainment world and a big one; it was the beginning of things for me, though I did not know it yet.
However, back at school just by looking at me, my friends at school would never believe it. But they would also never guess what was happening inside of me. It was best that way.
I’ve always known how to compartmentalize, looking back. I had a dark secret that would take me years to heal from, and yet I still had to be a part of my little elementary world. The other children could not know my secret, and I knew they would not understand the darker part of people’s natures I had already seen. Of course, many could. But when you’re a child, you think you’re the only one with a secret.
So I learned to act. Truly. Just to live my little-9-year-old-life. I now see how my courage and taking risks began to grow in order to be in pageants, modeling, and stage, but as a child I saw it as an adventure where I could escape “me” and become someone else. Someone who was happier, brighter; someone who didn’t know how dangerous the world could be. And when I sang! When I sang my spirit flew higher than the notes I sang and for a moment, I was free.
It was the Inner Strength part that I was having issues with: the everyday courage. In my daily life at school, I was the truest me: bookish, shy, and very serious. I preferred spending time with animals than people, and enjoyed grown-up conversations (teachers) rather than my peers’ because I found the adults more interesting and they talked about things that mattered. Places. People. Ideas. Music. Science. The Unknown…. Yet to be discovered.
When I did play a few times with my classmates, my imagination was so active that my favorite game was “Adventures in the Wild”. My friends and I pretended to be Australian brumbies, as we pranced and I NEIGHED across the playground. Well, that got old pretty quick and I was not well-accepted. Someone who would rather play “Brumbies” than “Barbies” or “Hopskotch”? So, after a particular roughed-up ganging up on me, the nerd, I retreated even more into my imagination. I hid myself away.
This school separated grades, and thus separated me from my sister. She, who loved our games of “Let’s Explore…” when ocean rocks transformed to caverns where pirates hid their jewels. My beautiful sister….. who did not know my secret. She only saw a very small part that later corroborated my memories when I started healing. But it didn’t matter. She understood me, she liked me, and the world was a safer place with my beloved best friend in it.
And without her, I felt weak. Less than. The world went dark again.
When I confided in her that I played in my “House of Trees” along the chain link fence of the playground and my best friend was the 6th grade’s tan bunny that lived in a garden, she wondered why I didn’t play with my “friends.” I told her. She came up with the idea to meet at the back of the playground, in a field, and we could talk or play. We weren’t supposed to do this. But we did. One of the Yard-duty Moms was my friend because we talked about horses together; she arranged for me to tutor my sister’s class every Monday. Then when she saw my sister and I playing together in the back of the field, she told the other Lunch Moms that she would watch over that part of the playground….”as a couple students were doing a science experiment on the pond water.” So my sister and I played, every day the rest of that year, and the world brightened again. I even sneaked her into my side of the school to introduce her to my bunny-friend. As dark as Life can sometime get, there are always angels around to light a candle and shine a way. I’ve often recognized the angels in my life, and am eternally thankful to them.
My sister brightened my world enough to see them. And she is the brightest angel-person in my life. While I have Courage, my sister has Inner Strength. She has it in spades, and it’s that gift she has that lights the world and makes it seem doable, when she’s around. And I’ve decided to learn it.
To be continued…..