Yesterday, like about a million other people, I was stunned to hear that Prince had died, and it’s hitting me pretty powerfully.
It’s not really about fandom. I do love a great deal of his music, but I never went to a Prince concert. I don’t own every album.
No, the loss I feel is bigger than that.
I don’t necessarily mean deeper, and certainly not “more” in the generic sense… Just wider.
In fact, it’s almost unnameable. I don’t have a word that can get around what feels lost, no container that alone can fit it all in… Like Prince, himself, it cannot be contained.
As best as I can sum it up, it’s the gargantuan talent + the equally large personality + the ferocious commitment to living his own life, by his own rules, to hell with what others will say (and do say, very loudly)… It’s the willingness to put it all out there, fail occasionally, sometimes in grand fashion, and get… back… up. To put it out there yet again, believe again, risk again, commit again… And in so doing, become an ever expanding, ever brightening talent/star/beacon/light/human/soul/gift.
That’s what feels lost. This particular, uniquely beautiful, and shining example of all that.
And that’s what I aspire to be.
Not Prince, the music, the ruffles, the purple, the controversy… Not Prince as he expressed it. But Prince as I would.
The Shero’s Way says every loss or challenge is an opportunity to become more of who we are. And it always comes down to the same question. So, I have to ask…
Who am I willing to become?
Prince wasn’t my friend; he wasn’t my loved one. He wasn’t even the center of my musical spectrum. But he doesn’t have to be any of that. He only has to be who he is. And all I have to do to activate this opportunity is let him be that. All that. Open myself to the wave I feel moving through me, the vibratory shock that has no name and let it shake me up. Not turn away or dismiss or deny or find a way to dial it down…
Who am I willing to become?
I know the question has hit home because my stomach is turning and I want to slam my computer closed. Not in grief or despair – which wouldn’t be true to who Prince is for me. But in fear. In resistance.
The truth is, I know exactly who I aspire to be, what “ever expanding, ever brightening” looks like for me. And sitting here, I know that taking the sheroic opportunity presented by Prince’s death means embracing who I aspire to be.
That’s the answer to the question. I am willing to become who I aspire to be.
The problem is, in order to do that, I have to do what absolutely scares me the most… I have to tell you about it.
“What are you thinking???” squeals the protective part of me. “Run! Hide!! For God’s sake, shut up!!!!”
But you see, that’s where that part of me has it wrong. It’s for God’s sake I’m about to open my mouth.
I didn’t ask to have certain abilities. I didn’t ask to desire certain things. I came into this life, my soul’s intentions unknown to me, and things unfolded and innate skills got honed and desire arose… And it was all a messy, largely unconscious, but maybe, ultimately, elegant process.
Where do you think that came from? Some clever ego? Believe me, I’m not that clever. And for the record, I’m asking myself far more than I am asking you:
Where do you think that came from?
From God, you silly. The place inside that is God in you. The place that speaks from your soul’s desire, your soul’s purpose.
And now this ___________ has died (still don’t have a word), and the Shero’s Way is my tao, and I can’t in good faith – in fact, I don’t want to – reject this opportunity.
So I will tell you…
I aspire to stand in front of huge audiences and reflect this gorgeous, heartbreaking world that I see, to celebrate the complicated truth of us and champion our exquisitely imperfect beauty. I aspire to stand in the Shero’s Way as it’s revealed to me, as it unfolds in me, and offer its gifts of empowerment. I aspire to lift us up. All of us. Not on my little blog, or to a couple thousand people on Facebook. I mean to everyone, the whole, wide world, to anyone who cares to hear. I mean — and this is the part that’s really, really hard to say — to millions.
I don’t think it’s pride or ego, believe me or not. I think it’s because, it’s what I’ve been given. And all I’ve ever wanted – I remember distinctly writing this in my hospital journal, newly paralyzed – is to give the gifts I was given.
So there it is. No longer tucked away in the safe quiet of my heart. Available now for stomping. 😉
And honestly, if you must, you must. It’s actually really ok.
Big names, big companies, and lots of average Joes stomped all over Prince… And look what he made. Look what he gave.
Any stomping, in the end, is just another catalyst. Another opportunity.
So, my secret is out. I want to be Prince, if he was female, paralyzed, a writer and speaker, on a mission to heal the world.
And I’m so grateful for his example.
Prince’s death is really sad to me, and the loss still feels unnameable. But now, it also feels worth something… Something really important.
That is how it should be. No loss should ever be in vain.
So whether it’s Prince or some other loss for you, recent or long ago…
Who do you aspire to be?
Who are you willing to become?
Today is the last day to say YES to Your Shining Signature Story. I’ll ask again: Who do you aspire to be? And who are you willing to become?