Hearing about Prince’s untimely death put me in a time warp. I remember driving my parent’s car listening to the 1999 album and belting out DMSR, 1999, Little Red Corvette and International Lover with the windows rolled down. I’ve been flooded with memories remembering his music’s impact in my life.

Flashing back to a moment in time with a girlfriend at the 1999 concert with Vanity 6, The Time and Prince, grinding and shaking his hips-entrancing and energizing. He didn’t just sing, he put on a show. I wanted more. Captivated, I couldn’t take my eyes off him.

Prince’s music touched me as I began my sexual exploration. He dared me to consider my sexuality and my feelings. His music remains fun, liberating, intense and sexy. I love dancing and singing to his music to this day. My attraction then was immediate.

Prince oozed CONFIDENCE, BELIEF in SELF and it came across in his music and his performances. While he was soft spoken off stage do not confuse that with shyness or lack of confidence. It is because of his self-worth he had no need to be loud and energetic off stage. People looked and listened more with his soft spoken strength. With his self-assurance he HELD BOUNDARIES, even as young as 17, with a major music studio, Warner Brothers. He held firm about producing his own albums for them from the beginning.

My attraction for Prince stemmed from his musical genius and his powerful display of what I was missing inside me: self-esteem, believing in myself and feeling my feelings. Do you ever struggle with believing in yourself? Do you hold boundaries from a place of confidence and self-trust or fear, trying to control? Are you in touch with your feelings? Do you blow them off?

For years I lived with the wound of low self-esteem. I appeared as introverted or shy; sometimes angry (resting bitch face); sometimes happy (on the surface); yet all those years I experienced a battle inside myself looking beyond me for the answer that would help me feel whole and valuable. Are you searching for THE “fix” to your life (love, career, family, body, etc.)?  Are you living a happy life or going through the motions, maybe detached or not present?

I wasn’t conscious I had a wound. Most of us with this wound may not become conscious of it for years, if ever. I consistently blamed my lack of happiness on outside situations: school and later work, a relationship or lack of, friendships, family, etc. accepting no accountability or responsibility. It was EVERYONE else’s fault. They didn’t get it or were wrong. I felt dark, heavy and lonely even times family and friends surrounded me as we did something fun.

During some of these years and into my early adulthood, I struggled with bulimia, another factor related to my lack of self-worth. I desperately wanted to be seen, heard and accepted and at the same time battled to be out of the “spotlight”. DON’T LOOK AT ME. I didn’t feel worthy.

As a pre-teen/teenager I was always trying to fit in. Who wasn’t?  I know this is common at this age. I continued this behavior into early adulthood.  My choices were consistently doing things, saying things and dressing specifically to fit in, be seen yet don’t stick out. Feel important when I didn’t feel important. Be visible, seen and heard. Even making out with boys who I didn’t necessarily want to date because they “saw me” and “wanted me” and I unconsciously thought that would fill what was missing inside me and make me happier. It never did.

Prince never tried to fit in. He stayed true to himself. He was bold (not in a cocky way), passionate, spiritual, made you think, caused controversy (got people talking, bringing them together), stayed true to himself, big hearted in touch with his feelings, aware of and accepting his imperfections and supported his local community (he helped ensure televising Viking home games and used the tickets for underprivileged).

I wanted to be bold, stay true to myself, inspire and help others. His music brought me out of my shell temporarily. I danced and sang as if no one was watching shaking my hips and gyrating my body and I felt good, though briefly.

Prince didn’t fit into a mold, I didn’t fit into a mold and he demonstrated it’s OKAY to be yourself, perfectly imperfect and unique! And I believed it while I listened to his music. Then in real life I went back to wearing one of my many masks to fit in, be liked, be approved and accepted, living my life with an emptiness inside that nothing was filling. How many masks are you wearing in your life? My masks kept me from feeling my feelings. I thought I was in touch with my feelings and emotions, but really I numbed them or pushed them away if I was aware of them at all.

Prince accepted himself and others. His vision allowed him to see a rainbow of possibilities without a box and his confidence and love for himself gave him the strength to live the life he desired, doing what he loved while loving and accepting the people around him.

Rest in Peace Prince, your purpleness. You gave BIG. Thank you for sharing yourself, your vision and your feelings. You helped me begin to realize I wasn’t completely feeling my feelings. Thank you for moments of clarity and self-awakening. Your confidence, love, passion, acceptance, spirituality, sexuality, and feeling your feelings attracted me. I desired what you demonstrated. It took me years of healing to realize I embodied it too. And now I help others see it, feel it and touch it too!