What Made Me Cry This WeekJan 24, 2022
Tuesday was a long day. Seven Zoom calls, a technology issue and construction banging away at my neighbor’s house all.day.long. Come evening, I was pretty beat. Normally not one to flip through network television channels, I flopped on the couch and grabbed the remote. I came across America’s Got Talent, the Highlight episode. Perfect, I thought, light-hearted, easy watching. I zoned out and sunk further into the cushions. Not more than a few minutes later, I was in tears, not ugly crying per say, but definitely tears. And throughout the next hour, I found this happening repeatedly!
What is wrong with me?? I thought. Have I been COVID’ing too hard? Maybe. Is Mercury in Retrograde? Nope.
And then I flipped my question instead to ask, What is right with me? What am I feeling here and why? I was incredibly forgiving of myself once I came up with the answer.
What I figured out a day later, when I had a fresh mind, is that my tears were a response to pure inspiration and elation for what the contestants on the show had just accomplished. I was witnessing their journeys to overcome some intense adversity - Fear, discouragement, bullying, false incarceration, and even homelessness to get to the America’s Got Talent stage, and, wow, were things turning around for them! Their resilience was palpable!
Here is a summary of their stories designed to inspire you too!
Contestant #1: “That’s the first time anyone has ever said that to me.” This is how one performer responded to Howie after Howie told him, “You are truly amazing!” Seriously? This was the first time this grown man had ever been told he was amazing? Wow, how incredible to witness the gratitude and fulfillment he felt in that moment. My eyes welled up.
Contestant #2: A woman who, three years prior, was homeless and pregnant and living in her car. This single mom brought her now 3-year-old son (who was adorable) and said that if she won the million-dollar prize she would buy a home for the two of them. When she opened her mouth, the most melodic, beautiful, angelic notes came forth. And shortly after, the Golden Buzzer was pushed! Tears. Again. It felt so good to see someone who had worked so hard and persevered through phenomenal challenges be given a huge, well-deserved break. So inspiring!
Contestant #3: A man who never grew to be more than three feet tall and had been bullied his entire life. He used two pieces of long fabric to fly above the stage and dazzle the audience with an act that was both dangerous and graceful at the same time. The audience erupted with a standing ovation as tears poured from his eyes (and mine) and again, the Golden Buzzer sounded.
Contestant #4: A timid 10-year-old girl who was so scared and nervous that Simon offered her water when she truly froze on stage. She willingly took a few sips, then a deep breath and then belted out In the Shallows in a way that would have stunned Lady Gaga herself. This little girl not only conquered her fear, she ROCKED it. She finished her song, the Golden Buzzer was pressed, the crowd went wild and she broke down in tears. And you already know what my reaction was.
While most of us may not find ourselves on the America’s Got Talent stage, recall the Fear-to-Success formula.
Conquering a Fear, leads to Courage leads to Confidence, leads to Success.
Do the thing that scares you and see what kind of Golden Buzzer might be awaiting you on the other side! Tears or not, it will be worth it because you are worth it! Shove that fear aside and welcome in the courage that instantly greets you! It will be so happy to see you!
Originally published Jul 28 2020
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