Elise here! As an intern at The Her Initiative for the past few months, I’ve been learning so much about all of the different facets of a movement to reach out to those in need. There are so many moving parts, and therefore, a variety of different gifted individuals that each bring something unique to the table. I asked Taylor Kanigowski, a Her Ambassador and fellow college student, to write about her perspective of what to do with what we have been entrusted with to make an impact in serious issues of injustice. Taylor wrote an introduction post about a year ago, and has been contributing by hosting a Party for Her of her own. Taylor is an inspiration in the ways she pours into younger dancers, advocates for women around the world, and steps out boldly to take action. Here’s more about Taylor:
We each have been entrusted with gifts, passions and talents. They are the unseen elements that make us, well “us!” But, I also believe that when each of us is faced with our abilities and the opportunities that accompany them, we have a decision to make. It is often that we teeter between the choice of wholeheartedly stepping out in faith with our gifts and passions or tucking them away as if they were irrelevant or unimportant. The time is now to stick the landing on this decision: do we risk discomfort and possible failure for the sake of utilizing our talents or do we hold onto the comfortable and secure?
Why do so many people decide to withhold their talents from the world? One answer: fear. Fear is often generalized to equate with simply being scared, but fear is much more complex and takes on more disguises than we think. Fear looks like shame, guilt, and even the desire to conform rather than go our own way alone. The Truth is, we can be set free from all of these downward patterns and given an identity that allows for taking hold of our gifts and spreading them for greater glory. Fear will always be a voice that influences the decision to use our gifts; sometimes it may even seem like the more logical decision. But, with trust grounded in Truth, we can confidently choose to step out.
For some, the decision to live in their talents confidently is an easy one. But we must not forget to ask ourselves why. Frankly, it is easy to believe that our talents are for own keeping and success. The temptation to use our gifts for the sake of more followers, a higher pay grade, attention, power, or even for our own joy is more prevalent than we like to admit. With consistent “heart checks”, as I call an analysis of motivations, we can take courage in using our talents, and furthermore, use them for eternal impact.
There is a road less traveled in the application of our passions. It is a path of sacrifice, intentionality, and boldness in serving for others’ benefits more than our own. We can use the gifts God thoughtfully gave us to change history if we allow our gaze to be focused on Him. The intention of applying our talents weighs far greater in importance than our talents alone.
The intention of applying our talents weighs far greater in importance than our talents alone.
I have been in a dance class since age 3. It’s a first love story, really. I have found myself in the studio or on the stage more days than not and have had the privilege of doing so all over the United States. My heart is brighter and my eyes are wider in an atmosphere of dance – I can say its presence in my life has sculpted me for the better. As I grew up, I was presented with the decision of how I was to use dance. The options were there: I could dismiss my talents in response to the “not enough” whispers in my mind, I could set out in a pursuit to live a dancing life where I was the greatest beneficiary, or I could use dance as a medium to care for the lives of others.
Connecting with The Her Initiative as a Her Ambassador, I was given the opportunity to choose the latter. Last summer, I hosted a Party For Her that brought the young local dance community together to learn about the realities of the Global Water Crisis and raise support for the women and girls affected. Dance For Her was a day of education, joy, and proof that anything can be used as a tool to help others. Supporting the works of The Her Initiative makes you feel like you’re playing a role in a movement that truly matters.