Listening to this song, tears instantly stream to my face. I recall teenage Orly watching Disney’s Hercules back in 1997 and first hearing this song. I was this overly shy, highly self critical teenager with no self esteem and no voice. A fire took my home that year and with it my last shred of strength to overcome my feelings of isolation and confusion. My world was crashing all around me. I may not have had a voice, but I had a dream in my heart. A dream to do something great in this world – to truly leave my mark. But how? I didn’t feel like I belonged, I didn’t even feel comfortable in my own skin, how would I ever make an impact in this world? The more I tried to find my place, the more it eluded me.

When I heard this song back then there was a lump in my throat. It was as if someone saw me, winked at me and was cheering me on knowing full well that I would reach my eventual fate. “Just keep going Orly. You’re a shooting star – YOU can go the distance! Don’t accept defeat. It’s an uphill slope, but don’t lose hope.”

This song became the voice in the back of my head pushing me forward when all I wanted to do was give up and throw in the towel. “Going the Distance” and “Embracing our Fate” can be a long and bumpy road.

Teenage Orly eventually had the courage to let her inner voice come to the forefront. I’ve had the pleasure of experiencing some incredible wins in my life, ones that my younger self would be proud of.

But listening to this song again now, today, that lump in the back of my throat came back. Life is filled with loads of ups and downs and I happen to be experiencing one of those downers as we speak. From my physical health dealing with endless migraines to the endless questions that fill my mind. I find myself feeling as though I’m that teenager all over again. I have so much in my heart that is just fighting to burst through, so much to give, I haven’t even touched the surface, but I feel as though I have lost my voice – my ability to bring those dreams into fruition.

And so once again, I take a deep breath, look at myself in the mirror with caring eyes and remind myself, “Orly – it’s an uphill slope, but don’t lose hope. Your journey is most certainly not complete. You may not know where you are headed from here but just remember, YOU can go the distance and every mile will be worth your while”.

The last thing I meant for this post is to make anyone feel sad and wonder what must be wrong. Instead, I ask you to do me the greatest kindness. STOP wherever you are right now, look at yourself in the mirror and remind yourself that YOU MATTER, that YOU ARE SEEN and that YOU are meant to achieve greatness. If only each person in this incredible world of ours embraced their inherent greatness, perhaps we would recognize that the journey we need to take is a journey to self love. That journey is not found out there, but in YOU.

Sending love and strength to my fellow travelers along the journey of life. YOU CAN GO THE DISTANCE.