It is also said that these two emotions cannot exist in the same moment; that we are either open in Love or closed in fear. I have seen, especially in recent months, that Life is Paradox:
We are all made of energy, we all die, yet energy never dies.
We are all special, yet none of us is more special than the next.
Our darkest moments are often when we come to see the light.
I am part of a female singing group called SheVine, & we will be singing next Sunday, 2/21 at www.NewThoughtCSL.org in Lake Oswego, Oregon.
During rehearsal, we stood with our music in hand, singing our parts in harmony, and when it came time to rehearse the song which features me on lead, I found myself gripped by fear… while singing about Love.
Why did this happen?
I practiced the song beforehand to know it well enough for a good rehearsal, but somehow the structure of standing with music in hand, next to seasoned sight-readers with a musical genius at piano, hit the play button on an old, familiar tape from years past.
Flashback to 5 years old; Daddy is The Universe, and I believe there is nothing he can’t do. He plays guitar well enough to pick any lead guitar part after hearing it only once or twice on the radio! He has his own band, and I am his biggest fan. My dad is the greatest!
One day he says, “Reading music is hard. I never could learn it. It took my band director in high school some time to figure it out, but when he did, I was kicked out of The Eagle’s High School Marching Band, and that was it for my trombone playing.”
WHAT?!?! Daddy was kicked out of band? But he’s Superman! Wow! Reading music must be REALLY hard, because Dad is amazing at making music; and singing harmony must be hard too, because Daddy said so, and he’s the best!
In private practice, I’d been singing the message of the song, and having fun, but within the group, I became concerned about the accuracy of my timing, and whether the notes I was singing matched the ones on the page.
I felt my heart tighten, my throat clinch, and by mind begin to race with self-judgment and thoughts of inadequacy; scanning the pages to find my place, and feeling lost in what is a very simple song about Love.
“Ummm… wow! Well… what did you think?”
Finally I said in frustration, “I am illiterate. I can’t read this.” I felt an old, familiar sense of shame and self-defeat, a voice that said I didn’t belong with these amazing women, and the group would be better off without me.
My sisters in soul and song were gracious, as was our musical leader. They shared encouraging words, which, by the time I reached home, settled into my consciousness as reassurance that my voice is a beautiful, unique expression of The Divine, which flows through me.
I remembered how I had won contests and awards for singing with local bands in my teens, never reading music, but feeling confident in my abilities, because I had sung songs which resonated with my soul, never coming face to face with the notes on the page.
Then I thought of the Sunday morning message at church again. It had been reiterated by our choir director earlier in the evening, “All self judgment is the flowering of a seed planted by someone else’s negative thought about them selves.”
When did the seed of judgment about reading music, and the shame felt about my own musical development get planted? It doesn’t matter, really.
What does matter, is that I have seen it for what it is, a plastic skeleton hanging in the closet of a dark room. It looks scary until someone turns on the lights. Then it’s just a cheap, plastic toy, almost comical, made to look more frightening than it really is, up close.
And so, the paradox for me is this… even when fear is present, there is only, ever, really, Love.
Love is the stage on which fear dances, because Love is bigger than fear.
I had begun choir rehearsal, thinking about, singing about, and feeling, Love. Then fear tried to take root in the form of a belief someone else planted in the garden of my consciousness.
I tended to, and watered that seed, and even gave it mega-grow formula plant food at times, but ultimately, the light of Love, coupled with the wisdom of The Observer, vanquished the lie of fear to reveal my True Self Worth.
I used the shadow to be reminded of the light, and ultimately saw that the fear I felt while singing about Love, was merely a reminder of the illusion, created by a thought about fear, to bring me back to the only thing that is real… Love.
I am not alone in this process. What weeds were planted in your consciousness by someone else’s adopted beliefs about Life?
I think it’s time we did some gardening.