Wednesday, April 7, 2010
Throughout life we face situations that challenge our ability to see ourselves as whole and perfect. We are always striving to "get it right." The trick is to remember that it's always right, even when it's all messed up. In all of our struggling and striving, it helps to remember that it is meant to be this way. Without knowing doubt we would never have the certainty to grow into our best selves.
I was reminded of this today talking with my son, Eric, who is a very talented 20 year-old musician. He has been feeling alot of joy in expanding his musical abilities, and feeling confident about his path. About a month ago, he hit a wall. A few things happened that shook his confidence. Instead of feeling joy in his music, he began to doubt his decision to pursue that course of study. He couldn't stop the voice in his head that kept telling him he wasn't good enough, and actually found himself playing worse than he had in a long time.
He spoke to my husband and me about it, and I like to think that our gentle reminder that the voice is not the truth, and to just acknowledge it and let it go, helped a little. I know that he didn't really need any advice. But in the middle of things like that, it's hard to keep our heads up, let alone know ourselves as anything even close to God-like!
My son told us that everyone hits times in their lives when they don't feel good enough. He wasn't sure exactly how to restore his shaken confidence, but he knew that he would. He said he was glad it happened early in his life so that he can get past it, and then next time he'll know that he can. What wisdom from a very capable young man, recognizing the gift in a very unwelcome situation.
I recently bumped into a prayer on self-acceptance, written by Robert and Janet Ellsworth, which spoke to my heart:
"Help me to admit mistakes without feeling shame, and to recognize that they come to teach me.
Help me to find my own voice, to say what I mean and mean what I say.
Help me to see the good and laugh at myself and my life more.
Help me to discover my gifts and honor the uniqueness of others.
Help me to accept who I am, a beloved and special being in Your eyes.
And above all, help me to remain patient and gentle with myself."
I think Eric did a good job of that!
May we all be gentle with ourselves as we compose our life's melodies, and may this tool be a blessing. . .