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Opening a closed heart

Updated: Dec 28, 2021

Oh, the beauty of change! Jonathan had been in California on a religious mission for two years. He would soon be home and even asked if he would recognize his mom! It was wonderful to have him serve and equally wonderful to have him back home. He didn't have any problems in recognizing all of us at the airport.

I was still looking for continued growth and change. I wanted a bigger snowball. At Corey’s suggestion I decided to attend an intensive personal development course. It’s called Impact Training. For me, the name fit perfectly. It did indeed have an impact on my life. Three truly amazing events unfolded. There were more, but these three mean the most to me. The first opened my closed heart. For the first time I felt grief. I felt the sorrow and sadness I had buried, not just for the loss of my husband Levi, but also for the loss of my parents and the realization that I really didn’t know my mother very well. I had buried that grief so completely. My CPE instructor and others tried to tell me I had not grieved sufficiently. I didn’t listen, mostly because I didn’t understand that I had put a cap on my emotions and wasn’t about to let them out. What a wonderful experience it was to allow myself to feel and to cry. It had been a long time.

The second experience happened the day of the graduation ceremony. A few people had been selected the night before to share their talents at the ceremony. The afternoon before the graduation, as we stood close to a wall, the song “Impossible Dream” was heard. I started to sing along. I have always enjoyed singing, but mostly to myself or in a choir. I was too embarrassed to sing so others could hear me. As I sang people around me became quiet as they listened. Then there were pats on my back and “Sing, Camille, sing!” So I sang. The facilitator asked what had happened. I told him, and then he said, “You need to be on the program tonight. Will you sing this for us?” I couldn’t say no. So, at the very end of the ceremony my name was announced and I was handed a microphone. I was on the stage before about one hundred fifty people. The music started and I fumbled around a bit for the first couple of measures. To my horror, this was a different version from the earlier experience, and it was really too high for my voice range. But I knew I had the support of my “buddies” and could feel that support and love deep inside. I reached for that love and sang from my heart. It was amazing! I got a standing ovation. Months later I would run into people who would say, “I was there. I heard you sing. It was wonderful.” This experience replaced my feelings of embarrassment with feelings of new possibilities. I may still feel some embarrassment once in a while, but I acknowledge that it’s there, and just keep on with whatever I am doing.

dA couple of months after that ceremony, I attended another segment of Impact Training. This segment included a rope course. I don’t like heights. Being harnessed and hoisted up in the air or having to climb to the top of a tree terrified me. The pounding of my heart propelled me across a rope bridge. That day brought a new sense of freedom. I knew I had the power within me to accomplish whatever I set my heart on. I didn’t need to fear. I just needed to act. I was becoming Ms. Wings!

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