Back in October 2013 I had the wonderful opportunity to sing at the capitol in Madison, a solo with my own talented musicians (Tom the guitarist and Gabriel the cellist – I love them dearly for performing with me!). It was for a ceremony that’s given every October by the Governor’s Council on Domestic Abuse, in honor of the survivors and advocates of domestic violence and sexual assault. In this ceremony, they present three different awards to those making a significant contribution in the fight against domestic violence: Justice Award, Courage Award, and the Patricia Waschbisch Legacy Award for Lifetime Achievement. Then the ceremony is closed with a “creative piece.” When I was asked if I would be interested to do the creative aspect, singing the song “How Could Anyone” was the first idea that came to mind:
How could anyone ever tell you, you are anything less that beautiful?
How could anyone every tell you, you are less than whole?
How could anyone fail to notice, that your loving is a miracle?
How deeply you’re connected to my soul.
I used to sing this to my sons when they were little as part of a bedtime ritual. My oldest son called it “My Soul” and my youngest called it “The Beautiful Song.” I wanted them to go to sleep feeling safe and loved and like they belonged in this world.
So why sing what could be thought of as a lullaby? Because…every one of us has an “inner child” wanting to hear these words, that needs to hear and feel the impact of these words.
When you are in an abusive relationship, your inner child is neglected, suppressed, forced to keep quiet and pretend it doesn’t exist or have any importance. What was once a voice that was strong and convincing becomes a whisper, a tiny whimper. Eventually, in an effort to protect itself, the inner child curls up to make itself small and not noticeable. Life is just an emotional rollercoaster, and its a very lonely battle to survive.
To be healed and be restored from abuse, its important to practice kindness to one’s self and do the things that bring contentment, joy, and peace…something a survivor of abuse is not familiar with, and struggles to even accept.
So I wanted to sing of something loving and encouraging, words that can bring healing. Imagine a guitar and cello being played while hearing this affirmation:
Before singing this song, I had a couple minutes to speak…and I truly felt that was a time meant to reveal that I am also a survivor of domestic violence. The song would mean more coming from me if I understood the importance of the words. (Let me tell you, it wasn’t easy to admit. It was only because of God’s strength inside me that I had the courage to say it).
After the ceremony, I remember feeling very strongly that the 3 of us were meant to perform together that day, that we had a purpose. Maybe that purpose was to help another feel more at peace, or maybe it was to help ourselves. For me, I realized that in making myself vulnerable, revealing a part of my past that I felt I needed to hide… it brought on a bit of healing inside me, to accept myself a little more and to be a little less afraid.
And who knows?? Maybe it actually helped someone else at the ceremony who was struggling, gave them insight or understanding. There were several people wiping away their tears during the song, so I hope that means the words and music put together had an impact 🙂
There is a freedom when fear no longer has the power to keep you quiet.
“so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.” Isaiah 55:11