Friday, October 23, 2009

The Reverent Vessel


I've recently been speaking to a man in England with a very interesting problem. Or better, a very common problem, caused by a very precious dynamic.

Many people I work with are wrestling with fears of rejection, failure, and success. These fears manifest in the body and voice, causing issues that on the surface seem entirely physical in nature.

This man in England, however is another matter. His fears are the same... of rejection, of failure, of success... but not for himself. Instead, he's worried that he is simply not good enough to express the gratitude he feels within his heart for life. He feels unworthy... not of the world or the audience, but rather, unworthy of music.

Oftentimes, I've found that reverent and searching souls are plagued by a pervasive sense of not being good enough. Never feeling adequately wise or worthy to teach, they often remain in the role of perpetual student, seeker and learner. In ways, they feel worthy enough to take, but not to give... a rather curious irony...

The reality though is that this man- and we all- are good enough to both give and receive. Not because of what we've done, or dream to do, but because we are, because we exist. And therefore- no better, no worse than anyone else- we have as much right to sing as we do to listen; to humbly give thanks, express our awe, and celebrate where we are and what we are experiencing in this moment with our breath and being.

Ambition, as you might imagine, is another issue for this man. He becomes very uncomfortable when people compliment him, not because he feels inadequate in his performance, but because he doesn't like the attention.

My advice was to him as is it to you... accept compliments like a wind that blows by you, touching your face for only an instant. They're not meant for you, anyhow. Your gift isn't the gift of the sound of your voice or your performance of the song that carried it, but rather, the place to which your voice has taken them, within themselves.

You are a vessel through which life touches the lives of others. Hold that idea for a moment... is there any more reverent- or worthy- purpose?

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3 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Excellent, Jennifer. Thanks so much. Y'know there are art songs in the classical repertoire that I am afraid to touch for that very real... I'm unworthy, I'm unworthy!

-JMark

October 23, 2009 at 3:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

... that very reason... so much for editorial skills. ;-)

October 23, 2009 at 3:39 PM  
Anonymous Sally Morgan said...

I love you Jennifer! You always bring it 'round to joy and the expression of what we all have inside of us.
Sally

October 23, 2009 at 4:18 PM  

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