The music inside

I was conducting a training last week on working with LGBTQ youths in the child welfare system, and part of the training was a panel discussion.  A local support group for LGBTQ teens had some of their group members who were willing to come speak to us about life, coming out, and self knowledge from their own perspective.  One of the young men shared a story with the group about attending a PFLAG (Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays) meeting.  This young man was at the meeting, and a man came to the meeting who is in his 70’s.  That older man, for the first time in his whole adult life, came out as a gay man at that PFLAG meeting.  The older man stated in that declaration:  “I don’t want to die with the music still inside of me.”


You could have knocked me over with a feather when I heard that statement.  Not just in the power that it held for that man, in that moment and all of the moments that led up to that decision making time.  Sure, the power of that was unmistakable.  However, the other powerful element of that story speaks to those that live in silence about who they really are, afraid to be open, afraid to share or reach out truthfully, and the circumstances under which many LGBTQ youths live.  It speaks clearly to the fears about coming out and having supports available to them. 


We all have such music inside of ourselves, symphonies that we have created by the lives that we live.  Colors of talent and gifts and strengths, love and faithfulness and hope and joy.  We have soulful melodies filled with angst and heartbreak and misunderstanding and deep sadness.  The variety that resides there within us is endless, and it is essential that we recognize our creation of these symphonies.


However, just like when we enjoy a piece of music, or a good movie or book, we like sharing it with others.  It speaks to what we like, what strikes a chord with us, and how those things connect us with others around us.  That music that we carry around and are constantly revising and creating deserves to be unleashed on the world.  For in being who we are truly meant to be, and in showing that beautiful self to others, that is what it is to truly live.


Don’t keep that light under a bushel.  Set the symphony inside yourself free for the world to hear.


12 thoughts on “The music inside

  1. Thanks Vanessa. I love your last sentence! I am working on a project that will let my light shine and it is soo tough. All sorts of things keep getting in the way (me included). I’m gonna copy that line out and put it up on my bulletin board where I will see it every day. Like Dorie says in Finding Nemo, “just keep swimming, just keep swimming!”
    You’re great!

  2. Tiny: 🙂 I think you are pretty great yourself. Visual reminders of what we need to possess inside have always helped me. Life is good; good energies to you as you plow through this project. You can do it!!!!!

  3. Wow. . . What an amazing story about that 70 year old man. And how wonderful it must have felt to finally be honest with everyone. . . including himself.

  4. Isn’t it though? How relieved he must have been to finally tell. It is a beautiful story, and it was so much more beautiful to hear it told from the perspective of the youths that were so affected by the story, and the person.

  5. Vanessa, thanks for your nice words. It’s been a bit of a lonely day and your response to my comment made me smile. I learned something really important today. Even with a big project, I need to take the time to get out and be around people every day. The project is solo now and when complete will involve the public. But while in the solo stage, I need to make contact with people or I worry or feel lonely or am too sensitive. Really good thing to learn. Thanks for letting me tell you about my “aha!”

  6. Wow, Vanessa. Powerful post. I wrote that quote down and may need to use it some time. In fact, I am going to put in on a sticky over my desk.

    It reminds me why I am in mid-career-shift at the age of 35, with no guarantee that it’ll work out, just knowing I have to follow my heart on this one.

    Thank you, Vanessa!

  7. Wonderful, powerful post, Vanessa. No matter what age we are, it’s never too late to let the music play…loud, clear, and with love! I simply think this is fantastic. If only we all were so brave…to not let fear mute our music, for together we could have a grand symphony, filled with love!

    PLL, C.

  8. Tiny: If it helps, I am so glad for that. I cannot wait to hear about the debut of your project; just remember to stay connected to others in the meantime!!!

    Molly: I am glad to hear that it helps; the transitions I am realizing are so many in our lives; I have had a pretty significant one just this week, and at first, it totally threw me for a loop. Now, it is all in perspective and the clarity is AMAZING!!!!

    Cordie: You are so right; we are never too old to let our symphony play loudly and proudly; and Cordie, I LOVE this line of yours:

    “If only we all were so brave…to not let fear mute our music, for together we could have a grand symphony, filled with love!”

    Oh, what a world that would be, my sister!!!! MWAH!

  9. Duma Key: Music is one the great loves of my life, so I call on that which inspires and keeps me alive! Maybe your notes are confused because your life is working out its harmony, rather than melody.

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