For We Are Glorious

I woke up this morning, thinking about the word “glorious”. The last few days, I have used my Morning Pages time, my free writing, to explore my thoughts about the song This is Me, from the film The Greatest Showman, line by line.

Since my thoughts seemed focused there, I wondered if I would be writing about being glorious today. In answer to my unspoken question, I saw, within a span of three minutes, the word “glorious” and the word “glory”. I took that as a resounding yes!

In the movie Keala Settle wonderfully portrays Lettie, the bearded lady at PT Barnum’s circus. This film tells Barnum’s story, however, we witness Lettie’s transformation as well. Her beard, the thing that makes her different, doesn’t go away. But Lettie’s fear and shame do. We see her beauty shine forth as she embraces who she is and accepts herself wholeheartedly. She becomes the voice for the group, in many ways.

And speaking of voice, she can sing! Lettie has a rich, beautiful voice and with Barnum, she becomes a star. The crowds don’t laugh at her. They cheer and applaud, wildly.

At the heart of The Greatest Showman is the message that we all have differences. That’s what makes us unique. Lettie’s song, This is Me, is so powerful because it is not only her anthem, it’s the heart cry of all of us.

The lyrics that caught my own heart over the past three days are these:

I won’t let them break me down to dust, I know that there’s a place for us. For we are glorious.

Lettie is referring to the words and actions of others, and not letting those people break her down to dust. Dust makes me think of dirt…as in nothing. We have sad expressions about feeling like dirt or being dumb as dirt. We equate dirt with nothingness, something we wipe off our shoes and forget. The words, actions, and opinions of others can make us feel that worthless. I think symbolically dust represents death as well, as in “to dust you shall return”. Death can come to our spirits, through the taunts and jeers of others, long before it claims our bodies.

Lettie continues singing that she knows there’s a place for us, including here her new family group, called oddities by some. There is room for everyone, a place for each of us with our unique gifts and perspectives. We need our differences. The world needs them, needs us all, with our brilliant quirks and our creative talents.

For we are glorious.

I love that choice of words. Glorious. Glory. From the Latin word gloria. High renown or honor, magnificence or great beauty, sacredness. As a verb, to take pride or pleasure in.

For we are glorious, Lettie sings. She knows. We are glorious. We are magnificent. We are full of beauty. We are sacred. See our glory. Take pride and pleasure in who we are, because we do.

This is us…this is me. And we are glorious.

This is the shining truth in Lettie’s song. It’s why this song is affecting people at such a deep level. It’s why This is Me is nominated for an Oscar and why it became my song for 2018.

Shortly after those words, Lettie sings, I am brave, I am bruised, I am who I’m meant to be.

I thought about what it means to be brave. Courage is another word for brave. And that word comes from the Latin word cor, meaning heart. Courage is a heart thing, not strong actions or being completely fearless. It is a surety, born in our core.

Brené Brown says that the original definition of courage was “to tell the story of who you are with your whole heart”.

That’s what Lettie has learned. She knows, in her heart, at her core, who she is. She is telling her story, from that place of courage, even though she has been bruised, marked, by life. She isn’t willing to hide herself away any more. She can sing, with breathtaking beauty and honesty, This is me…and I am glorious.

I want to take this truth in. I want to incubate it for a while. And then let it be born fully in me. There are so many ways to hide who we are. So many ways to feel shame over who we are. So many ways to be bruised. Courage is being bruised and afraid and allowing who you are to shine, differences and all.

My courage, your courage, telling our stories from whole hearts, allows others to do the same. What an amazing ripple of change such courage sends out into the world. We can do it. For we are glorious.

Magic Lessons Podcasts

I spent several hours in the car today. I normally listen to music on my iPhone when I’m alone in the car. However today, I felt drawn to listen to recent podcasts by Liz Gilbert. 


Elizabeth’s newest book, Big Magic, released last year. The subtitle captures the essence of the book, Creative Living Beyond Fear. The book is excellent and I will be reading it again soon. At the beginning of each podcast, Liz explains that although she completed the book, the topic of creativity was not finished. She further explores living the creative life in a series of podcasts.  

I, too, am far from finished with creativity. I settled in to be inspired. 


It was Divine leading. I had time to listen to three podcasts, and I randomly selected the episodes. I love what shows up when I get out of the way, and surrender to flow. 

The first podcast featured Brandon Stanton, author and photographer of Humans of New York. Brandon shared candidly about following passion by getting started, ready or not. Using his own life as an example he spoke about staying in a job that drained his energy, because he felt he had to have a certain amount of money to begin his dream job, photographing and interviewing strangers on the streets of New York City. When at last he began, the end result was different from what he had imagined. However, the project evolved, and became succesful, out of what he created, day after day. 


The next two podcasts amazed me. In them, Liz interviewed Brené Brown and Glennon Doyle Melton, in separate sessions. This was interesting timing, because I am currently working through the online course Wisdom of Story, presented by these two courageous women. That’s a synchronicity, and when synchronicities show up in my life, I pay close attention. 

Brené shared about the importance of living a creative life. Brené said we are all creative being. We are either being guided by inspiration or ignoring it, which can lead to frustration, resentment and being judgmental of those who are creating. In her studies, she found that shame often surrounds creative effort. Among people who experienced shame as a child, half of them shared that they were shamed for expressing creativity. Many of those children grew up never attempting to create again. 

And lastly, Glennon shared her powerful story of finding her voice to express the truth of who she was. She overcame addiction and an eating disorder by seeing that an eviction from a lifestyle is actually an invitation to engage life at a deeper level. The theme of her interview was to find who you are and do what you are here to do, even if you don’t feel ready to offer your gift to others. 

That was the common thread that ran through all three podcasts: Don’t wait, begin, ready or not…and have the courage to face your fears so you can begin. 

I took the message to heart. I am embracing a creative life, as I write, as I garden, as I create. It is so much more important to begin, than to keep planning, keep perfecting, keep researching. Begin. Keep going. Let inspiration guide me and allow creativity to flow. 

I am grateful for Magic Lessons today. 

Listen to Liz’s podcasts by going to elizabethgilbert.com and find Podcasts in the dropdown menu.