To My Ex-Husband

I was 16 going on 17. You were 19.
We were in my parent’s living room. I was playing the piano.
Maybe I was singing too, I don’t remember.
I thought I heard a sound from back the hall.
I started to jump up. Then I remembered: Eric was gone.
I got emotional. (I don’t remember the details.)
You said, “I don’t understand why you still get upset. He’s been gone a year.”
So I stopped.
I stopped crying.
I stopped playing piano and singing.
I stopped expressing myself.

Now I’m 46 going on 47. You’re 49, wherever you are.
Last year, I started to play and sing again, albeit awkwardly.
Reading music takes more effort now.
My fingers and brain don’t simply connect the way they used to.
My throat often tightens and closes, painfully choking out my voice.
One day I prayed, “I’ll do whatever it takes. Just please let me sing.”  
Wouldn’t you be surprised and confused at the many tears that fall now?
Because I started.
I started allowing my emotions to flow.
I started learning to accept and love myself.
I started using my voice.

So thank you for the 30-year lesson. You’ve been out of the picture for most of those years, but I’ve been repeating the same lesson in other situations. It’s now time to turn the page and move on.

And one day soon, I’ll be able to sing in full glorious voice for more than a few seconds without breaking into tears. I will no longer feel unworthy of the amazing feeling that accompanies the true expression of my soul. Because I am worthy of that feeling. We are all meant to have that feeling, from whatever lights us up.

Use your voice, whatever that means to you. It is your gift to enjoy and your gift to the world.


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