We all want to make a difference in this world and experience success in some way. Sometimes other people’s success can be intimidating when we measure our success by theirs. Hopefully self-doubt rehearsals of the brain will only momentarily trip us up if we turn to a place of positive reinforcement to replenish our energy so we can maintain our flow and move forward.
I hope this post and ‘My Precious Life’ song can contribute to that in some way.
(lyrics are included in the video)
The other day I woke up to feelings of insignificance and intimidation in the area of my musical gift. Not sure exactly what brought it on, but I recognized the feeling because it sneaks up on me me periodically. It’s funny how you can ride on the heights of possibility one day and the next wallow in the depths of nothingness.
What exactly is the effect of intimidation? Doesn’t it question our ability to do what we do as if we don’t have a right to be doing it? If we were only to look at all the reasons why we shouldn’t do something, why we don’t measure up, and how the odds are against us, we may as well just stop. But sincestopping isn’t an option (to the compelled and passionate), why not look at the entire picture and tally up why we shouldn’t stop? After all, we are holding a gift in our hands to give to the world, even if it is (in my case) one song at a time, and in yours, one (_______) at a time. Bottom line is if we quit, we miss out on the giving and then, of course, no one can receive either, and ultimately intimidation wins.
Whenever I feel stucklike this, I turn to some sort of positive reinforcement to get me out of the funk. One way I do that is to pour a cup of morning joe (into a cute mug), light a candle, sit in a favorite chair and open up my Bible to the book of Psalms. I like Psalms because I can understand and identify with the writers’ honest expressions of their feelings, both high and low, about the events of their lives, both positive and negative. I like the way they turn to God in need and find solace in worship no matter what the circumstance, returning to him like a touchstone. Even though written centuries earlier, the material is relatable to what we go through today.
Back to my particular day, the phrase “my precious life” stood out to me in two different verses in two different Psalms (Ps. 35:17 and Ps. 22:20). I read the verses in context to get some perspective and it was interesting to see that the writer, David, was at a point in his life that he felt insignificant to those who didn’t understand him – like people didn’t get what it was he had to offer. He was actually hated by enemies who were in pursuit of his life. (That part I can’t relate to since I don’t have enemies as far as I know. But I do have an enemy of my soul that can interupt the pursuit of making my music available to whomever.) When David was pleading to God to rescue his precious life, it sounded more life and death than any of my situations, but then when I look at my musical creativity as a precious life, I can pray the same way – please rescue my precious life from death. And in a round about way, if my music dies, a big chunk of me dies with it, so you get the picture.
Part of the intimidation for me is I’m getting older and finding out my options have become more limited. The older a person gets in our society, the more overlooked one can feel, especially if you don’t fit in with the typical glossy product that seems to stir the masses. If I tried to emulate that, (as if I could…LOL!) it would come across unauthentic and contrived. My best bet is to stay true to who I am and give what I have with the vessel it comes in. Part of my offering exists because I’ve lived as many years as I have. I wouldn’t have been able to say what I say now when I was in my 20s… So, I’ll keep saying what’s on my mind one song at a time and bring reassurance to one person at a time; and what’s so bad about that?In the end, if my gift is doing what it’s supposed to be doing, that is success.
I guess I felt such an affinity with that phrase because for my entire adult life I’ve felt I had something precious to give but my journey of giving it away hasn’t been what you’d call typical. That day when I needed reassurance, yet again, the ‘my precious life’ phrase whispered to me that God sees my life and gift as precious and indeed has a place for it even if it’s uniquely tucked into the nook and cranny places only seen by those who are supposed to see it. I have to ask myself if I am ok with that. To be honest, that’s where my vulnerability to intimidation comes in. Sometimes I’m content with that, but not always. But when I get a glimpse of this perspective, the pain of feeling invisible to the world diminishes, at least for a little while, and makes way for a new surge of energy to keep on keeping on.
So with all that, I decided to sit down at the piano and turn the yearning I felt into a prayer for myself and for anyone else haunted by the the fear of invisibility. The song that came is my offering. In this case, (what I perceive to be) God’s whisper overcame the insideous whisper of intimidation.