STAR Helped Me Find My Voice Again

Graduate Profiles

STAR Foundation Newsletter

STAR Helped Me Find My Voice Again
by Marilyn Pierce

Whew! Where do I start? STAR was so profoundly life-changing for me...

It’s only been four months since I did STAR (September 1996 in Santa Fe) and yet it feels like years in many respects. It seems to me that this is so because of the deep awakening that took place for me at STAR. Like so many others, I had learned to cope with life and all of its attendant hurts (there were many) by shutting down my emotions and pretending that things “were o.k.” when, in fact, they weren’t.

I feel like STAR literally saved my life. I just couldn’t figure out why I was so

unhappy and stuck. For years I had been trying to catch the elusive “brass ring” in the field of opera, and while I had moderate success, it still eluded me. I also couldn’t figure out why I seemed unable to form a lasting intimate relationship. I knew that my parents had not done a great job of parenting me, but I had rationalized it all as “They did the best they could” (and they did) and “Things could be a lot worse—look at Suzy over there—now that’s bad,” etc., etc. I’m sure you get the drift.

STAR got me reconnected to me—not the me that I created to survive, but the real me. Learning about P1’s (Essence), P’2s (Shadow) and P’3s (Masks) was a real revelation to me. I had come to realize over the last 5 or so years that living from my P1 (Essence) was what I wanted to do, but I simply did not know how to get there. STAR was the key. STAR taught me to recognize what old and toxic patterns I had taken on as a means for survival and attention. It taught me about my shadow side (very ugly, mind you) and that I never wanted to operate out of that place ever again. I was able to see how the conditioning that I received as a little child had affected the way I thought, acted and reacted to everything in my life. I also learned about the Negative-Ego Intellect and how disastrous, self-defeating and self-indulgent it was (and sometimes still is—I’m still a work in progress).

STAR helped me find my voice again. Not my singing voice, but my true voice. The one that enables me to speak my truth and no one else’s. I’m so very grateful for that gift because before going to STAR I had absolutely no idea what my truth was. STAR amazingly created a safe place where I could do all of these things and shed the incredible paralyzing fear that had taken over and ruled my life. The love and support of Barbara and the STAR staff was what enabled me to do this. STAR amazingly creates the family environment under which all children are able to grow and thrive. STAR also gave me a wonderful family that I can call on and who can call on me. I always wanted to be loved for who I was—warts and all—and STAR gave me that, and most importantly, STAR taught me how to love myself.

Although life has not been a bowl of cherries since I returned home, I have come to realize that STAR gave me the tools and understanding to deal with life’s downs much more effectively and also to appreciate life’s ups much more. I’ve been able to make some amazing realizations as to what is important and what is not since STAR. Living congruently and doing whatever is necessary to achieve that is my goal. Hopefully by doing so, I can transmit some of the shining essence of STAR to others and illuminate their lives in a positive way.

I just received the letter that we wrote to ourselves on the day before we left STAR. (A very cool thing to get at the New Year!) I’d like to share the 6 things that I told my self to remember:

1. FEEL YOUR FEELINGS (that way you know you’re alive!) DON’T STUFF THEM!