Thursday, May 23, 2013

Inspiration - Courtesy of Kellie Pickler

Inspiration comes in many forms - people, music, dance, writing, and more.

For me, it arrived as all of the the form of a sweet, hard-working, determined Southern lady who faced her fears and insecurities on Dancing With The Stars.

If you've followed Kellie from her early days on American Idol, you already know that she's a sweetheart.  You also know that she didn't have the best childhood growing up - not even close.

Her mother abandoned her.  Her dad was in jail.  Her grandparents raised her, but her grandmother passed away from cancer when Kellie was 15 years old.  She lived in a beautiful small town, but her family did not have much money.

But Kellie persevered, even with all of those possible obstacles.  She rose above the challenges and went for her dreams.  She didn't let the things that life threw at her stop her.

I was reminded of Kellie's heart and determination as she took on Dancing With The Stars this season.  She always has a joke, word of encouragement, and ready smile for everyone watching.  She worked many long hours to learn and perfect all of the dances, including Derek's amazing but challenging choreography.

By the time the finals came around, Kellie also let us see her vulnerable side - the part of her that still felt the pain from her past but wanted to overcome it all.  And I could relate.

I've always been the one who encourages others, finds the humor in a situation, and smiles to get through my challenges.  But I still have a vulnerable side.  I'm learning to show that side a little more often - some people can't handle that I'm not "perfect"  (whatever perfect is supposed to be!) and decide that I'm only good enough for them when I help them.  That's OK...not everyone you meet is supposed to stay in your life forever.  Sometimes they are there just for you to learn a lesson.

Thankfully, there are still plenty of people who understand that we are all human and have issues and challenges to face - that we don't have to be "on" all the time.  That love and friendship is a two-way street and we should support each other through the good AND the bad.

I cried as Kellie and Derek performed their Freestyle.  I could see that she was being very real with all of us.  She let us all the way into her world, and we love her for it.  This is why she is a true champion!

Thank you Kellie, for sharing your heart and soul on the dance floor along with the proper technique.  You taught me (and countless others) that it's OK - no, VITAL - to be yourself  and share who God created you to be. And that hard work and prayer will get you far, no matter what life throws at you.

I'd love to be in the physical shape that Kellie is in...and I'm working on it.  But it's also important to work on that inside beauty, which she has in spades.  This is one lesson I will carry with me every day!


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