You Get Proud By Practicing

You get proud by practicing
Laura Hershey (1962-2010), disability activist

The New Message from God places a much greater emphasis on my practice than my belief. My actions reveal what I really believe, and what I adhere to. One of the steps in Steps to Knowledge is “I can only practice.” I shared my experience of this step in this post “What Are You Practicing?

You get proud by practicing

I don’t know when Laura Hershey (1962-2010) wrote this poem. I didn’t know Laura Hershey at all until March of this year. I believe this poem is her song, her anthem, the story of her life. I believe she is someone who did what she wrote about in this poem. I believe she got proud by practicing.

Power comes in many fine forms

You get proud by practicing
Julia Bascom, President of Autistic Self-Advocacy Network

Julia Bascom shared this poem by Laura Hershey on the 2019 Disability Day of Mourning. While it was a somber occasion, this poem was an exclamation point of the day’s observances. For me, this poem captures some of the feeling of practicing the great practices of the New Message (inner listening, stillness, looking without judgment, learning how to direct your mind at will, always knowing where your mind is going, objectively questioning your assumptions and beliefs, stepping back from who you think you are or what you think life is.) For me, this poem captures some of the feeling of reaping the benefits of my practice.

You Get Proud by Practicing

If you are not proud
For who you are, for what you say, for how you look;
If every time you stop
To think of yourself, you do not see yourself glowing
With golden light; do not, therefore, give up on yourself.
You can get proud.

You do not need
A better body, a purer spirit, or a Ph.D.
To be proud.
You do not need
A lot of money, a handsome boyfriend, or a nice car.
You do not need
To be able to walk, or see, or hear,
Or use big, complicated words,
Or do any of those things that you just can’t do
To be proud. A caseworker
Cannot make you proud,
Or a doctor.
You only need more practice.
You get proud by practicing.

There are many many ways to get proud.
You can try riding a horse, or skiing on one leg,
Or playing guitar,
And do well or not so well,
And be glad you tried
Either way.
You can show
Something you’ve made
To someone you respect
And be happy with it no matter
What they say.
You can say
What you think, though you know
Other people do not think the same way, and you can
keep saying it, even if they tell you
You are crazy.

You can add your voice
All night to the voices
Of a hundred and fifty others
In a circle
Around a jailhouse
Where your brothers and sisters are being held
For blocking buses with no lifts,
Or you can be one of the ones
Inside the jailhouse,
Knowing of the circle outside.
You can speak your love
To a friend
Without fear.
You can find someone who will listen to you
Without judging you or doubting you or being
Afraid of you
And let you hear yourself perhaps
For the very first time.
These are all ways
Of getting proud.
None of them
Are easy, but all of them
Are possible. You can do all of these things,
Or just one of them again and again.
You get proud
By practicing.

Power makes you proud, and power
Comes in many fine forms
Supple and rich as butterfly wings.
It is music
when you practice opening your mouth
And liking what you hear
Because it is the sound of your own
True voice.

It is sunlight
When you practice seeing
Strength and beauty in everyone,
Including yourself.
It is dance
when you practice knowing
That what you do
And the way you do it
Is the right way for you
And cannot be called wrong.
All these hold
More power than weapons or money
Or lies.
All these practices bring power, and power
Makes you proud.
You get proud
By practicing.

Remember, you weren’t the one
Who made you ashamed,
But you are the one
Who can make you proud.
Just practice,
Practice until you get proud, and once you are proud,
Keep practicing so you won’t forget.
You get proud
By practicing.

* * *

Welcome to Mystery of Ascension! We are students and advocates of the the New Message from God. We are members of a worldwide community. We seek to assist the world in successfully navigating difficult times ahead. We seek to assist the world in successfully emerging into a greater community of intelligent life. You will also find some poetry. Find out more about us here. Contact us here.