Do you go back and replay/edit life moments?
I usually do it around 3:32 AM after our two-year-old loses Kitty in the covers or drops his water cup into the unsearchable crevasse between the bed and the wall. (I never had a water cup in bed, did you? These kids….)
I crawl back in bed, and my mind toggles the tabs like a Netflix menu, and it experiences zero choice paralysis when selecting a series to binge.
I go back to times when my emotions took over or I made a call out of fear instead of faith, and I re-write the scenes like I’m Liam Neeson avenging an abductee’s family.
I stand stoic and still in the face of conflict, and I let the other party tailspin in my austere presence.
I replace every scene where I flounder, flop, and flagellate with vignettes of steady, stern steel.
I also alliterate when I do deign to dialogue with my scene partner. That vanquishes them utterly.
Then I’ll take a breath or seven, and I’ll re-accept the way it actually shook down.
I look askance at folks who wave their YOLO flag and declare “No regrets!” in tidy Instagram story form.
There are lots of things I regret, and if you’re a human paying attention, you won’t walk through a significant chunk of days without racking up a list of woulda coulda shouldas.
And when I look at the moments I really shat the sheets, there are always gifts there.
🤐 That conversation when I should have stayed silent and let the dishonest party dig their own ditch, I learned to take a beat before I speak and measure words more carefully. (A pretty important skill for teacher folk.)
✌🏽 The time when I should’ve told the industry guests who verbally spewed on my students to take an early Über to the airport–I learned I need to listen to my FIRST instinct that knows what’s right. Still working on that.
❤️🩹 The times when I got defensive and triggered with Melissa, I learned to go into the next room and take about twenty seven deep breaths. I also learned that asking for and absorbing forgiveness is one of life’s must beautiful graces.
The common theme is that I’d never have downloaded the sweet truths if I hadn’t lived through my ability to run background software programed by fear and un-love.
It’s the same on your path–
You have a clue of what feels good when you sing because you’ve prolly sung in ways that are a lot of work.
You probably know that one tidbit of etiquette because you didn’t know it at one point, and it was embarrassing. (Just ask me about the time I started singing in understudy rehearsal on tour before the conductor brought me in. 😳)
There’s a whole lotta both-and in all the places we wish we’d done better.
There’s the pain of the I-wish, the sweetness that comes with the hard-won lesson, and the compassion that comes with seeing our inevitable blunder-ability.
What’s your main replay/edit? Can you find the sweet take-away? And what can you bring forward?
I once heard Marianne Williamson in a Q&A in LA tell someone that they’d paid tuition to the school of life. That image stuck with me because I redefined things I once called lost as invested.
You’ve made investments. You may think you took a big loss, but I’d put money on the fact that all that you’ve laid down is accruing terrific compound interest.
If we soften up to what our wish-that’d-gone-another-way experiences have to teach us, there’s a lot of gold there.
Of course, this also means you’ll need to show yourself a little grace and love. I bet you can.
Because we’re waiting to hear all the ways those struggles tenderized your heart. And when you open that heart and share it in your song, folks get healed. I stake my whole work as a teacher on that.
When you let a free sound through your face, folks who hear it get a little freer, too.
Because you know what I’m fixing to say—there’s only one of you, and folks need to hear the story only you can sing.
ps We really enjoyed Somebody Somewhere starring Bridget Everett on HBO Max this week. Great characters, great relationships.
pps Remember your voice is a 360 event–just watch this lil singing froggy for evidence 🐸. Witnessing your sound waves traveling behind you can be a really freeing image. Try it out and let me know if you notice a difference.
ppps Here’s your me-with-boys-by-the-water pic for the week 💙 Coming atcha from Quincy on a glorious warm day.