The music company I launched to secure my family’s financial future crashed and burned. Every avenue of escape was either obsolete or closed for the recession. There was nowhere left to turn.
After throwing every ounce of my being into the ring, I crawled off the battlefield wounded and wiped out. I’ve lost before, been rejected a zillion times, struggled forever. But for the first time—for the very first time—something previously inconceivable seeped through the cracks of my confusion. I felt defeated, like my chances were over.
Even as my ego was flailing and wailing and trying to hold on at the surface, I did the inconceivable.
And without knowing it, the “pain of events,” pulled me into the inner road of life. Every day, I prayed for clarity.
My mother was fond of saying, “God writes straight with crooked lines.” Like Ray Kinsella in the movie Field of Dreams, who was blind to the real gift hidden in the baseball diamond he cut from the corn, I never saw it coming—the unexpected grace and surprise ending of my book, Be Who You Are A Song For My Children—“Ease his [own] pain.”
It turns out, the message I was so passionate about giving my children, was the one I most needed to hear.
Live what you love.
Be who you are.
Somewhere along the line, I stopped being myself, let limiting beliefs and the lifesucking cancer of “I can’t” drip into my subconscious. Being a musician wasn’t “normal.” My friends all had “real careers” and security. I didn’t accept my gifts. Instead of embracing my uniqueness and finding a way, I turned my back and lost it.
My love of creating music got lost in the business of selling music. Like a remora feeding off the reflected glory of other people’s artistry, I swam next to my dream, not in it. I thought I could defer my dream, make money, and come back to it. It’s the very commonness of my story that makes it so important: Compromise who you are and what you love for the sake of perceived security, status, and social approval. Thoreau was right: “The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation.”
My pain was a gift, a straight path home through the crooked lines of my mother told me about. As T. S. Eliot said, “And the end of all our exploring / Will be to arrive where we started / And know the place for the first time.”
Now I know what I’ve always known.
Now the thought of feeling defeated makes me laugh. Ha! Now I know we are responsible for effort, integrity, and intention, not outcome. Now I know that every so-called defeat or failure is just gift-wrapping paper and bows unveiling the gift of clarity, and the grace of guidance, when torn from the present it conceals.
After going through the fire, which seared through my ignorance, scorched my fear like the earth, and burned down the illusions of the ego—I can finally see. I can see the magnificent, indestructible spirit inside of you, me, and everyone. I can see the amazing power radiating with possibilities inside all of us. The forces that suck the smiles from our face have nothing to do with anything happening outside of us.
It’s our inside life that creates our outside world. I can see it now, crystal clear and true as gravity. Happiness is not an external event. Our inside life is life.
And I see an unrepeatable, amazing life shining inside of each of us.
Do you have any idea of who you are and what you can do?
If you did, you’d be happy no matter what happens. You’d never cling to dream-killing comfort zones, or flatline routines. You would never seek anyone’s approval but your own. You’d never bury your dream alive, leaving it gasping for air in some standardized box for the sake of perceived security. You wouldn’t waste a single second on worry, want, or anger. You wouldn’t need to substitute false pride for true confidence.
You would judge no one, including yourself; forgive everyone, especially yourself. And
you’d love others, because you’d love yourself.
You’d be happy.
You’d be fearless.
You’d be free.
Trust me! You don’t have to let life suck the life out of you!
My purpose, my intention, my prayer for this blog and my book, Be Who You Are, A Song for My Children, is to help you see what I see.
My message is simple, empowering and rare . . .
Be who you are. inside and out, No matter what! No matter how far!
I’d love to hear your story . . .
And I’ll help if I can.
Thank you for reading this blog. I’m truly grateful for your time.