One of the things I’ve been learning lately is how to let go. It’s a concept that has pervaded my personal and singing life. For months, my coach has been telling me to ‘have fun’ and to ‘play’ in my performances. I watched myself seize with terror as I feebly attempted to ‘have fun’ with my music and with my performance. “What kind of person doesn’t know how to have fun?” I thought. Meanwhile, at home I faced some heart breaking circumstances as my beloved pet went into heart failure. I struggled to ‘keep it together’ when I felt like my world was falling apart. Then one day, as I was struggling to ‘keep it all together’, I suddenly became confused about who exactly I was keeping things ‘together’ for. Why was I so afraid of allowing myself to become emotional about what was happening?
What I discovered is that I had confused vulnerability with weakness. I was afraid of not being strong enough to protect myself. I realized that I didn’t really trust myself, I didn’t think I was good enough and that I placed a barrier between myself and others to protect myself from being hurt. What I didn’t realize is that barrier didn’t protect me from anything; it actually made it impossible for me to really fully participate in what was happening in my life. I was afraid of being perceived as being a mess and that others would judge me for giving up on my ability to keep it all together. I had not yet learned that letting go is not giving up.
It was time for me to reconsider a lot of things I thought were necessary in my life. I had to realize that it takes incredible courage, bravery, and strength to be vulnerable in life. I had to accept that there will be times in my life when things will be happy and times in my life when things will be sad. And that it is really the difficult times in our life that make us better people. I realized how incredible it is to receive support from others in difficult times. I realized that no matter how hard I try, I can’t ‘protect’ myself from painful or hurtful circumstances. That it takes true strength of character to meet life’s painful circumstances with grace and compassion. I realized that it’s ok to be a mess sometimes. The world does not implode, the ‘messy police’ do not come to arrest you and take you to jail. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. People come from all over to support you and help you in your time of need.
I am learning to let go of thoughts and habits that no longer allow me to have what I want in my life. I realized that what I want more of in my life is authenticity. When I meet people and circumstances from an authentic place suddenly I feel like I have what I need to move forward. It’s not about being perfect, it’s about being where I am in that moment, trusting that I am enough, and that I will have enough of what I need to help me move forward.