Thursday, October 27, 2011

opening my heart's door

It's a really hard thing for me to share my real self with people. I'm cute, serious, silly, underestimated, talented, knowledgeable, surprising. Efficient, firm, kind, friendly, dependable, diligent. That's what people see.

My conducting mentor often reminds his ensemble that to sing well, to communicate well, we have to use both our minds and our hearts. The voice is optimally placed in-between. It makes a good metaphor. We'll come back to this.

I've always been a color-in-the-lines, follow-the-rules sort of girl. If there's a good reason for something, if there's a way to achieve beauty, a fast and efficient method for work, I'll be doing it that way. If I can do something well, I sometimes do not feel motivated to do that something better.

But aren't you a perfectionist, Linnea? Yes, sometimes. No, not always. I have trouble doing what recipes say, because I know that changing the outcome is often okay, even better. I hesitate to buy the Gap skirt/sweater/accessory because I think I can make one. It's okay with me that the vacuum lines on the carpet don't line up, and that there are dishes in the sink.

It really scares me when things are not in control. Things like how I've inadvertently gained 5 pounds over the last four months on this new bc pill. Things like my husband's new job situation and the ways we're having to compromise to allow me to still go to school. Things like family holiday plans and trying to balance both sides of our family. Things like allowing singers to really sing without me dictating every note. Allowing my house to be messy when I truly can't fix it. Stepping back from a volunteer position at church. Saying "I don't know" and feeling okay with it. Being honest with my conducting mentor and checking myself into counseling so that I can deal with these issues. Asking for help.

I've realized lately that I can't do these things on my own. Surprise, former perfectionist: you are not able to actually be perfect. Excellent, yes. Joyful, yes. But those abilities are enabled by the grace of God. You have many talents. You have a loving family. You are doing well at school. All you have to be is you. Surprised? And who you are is good enough.

Good enough. Even excellent. Maybe someday, great. Not famous, not necessarily. Not the best. But if what I'm working on - opening up my heart and being the real me - brings glory to God, I am doing well.

I am trying to let go. Feeling the rope burn in my hand from holding onto the kite string in a turbulent storm, trying to believe that things won't fall apart if I am not the one in control. Realizing that I have never been in control, but that God always has been and always will be. Trying to remember that I have to use my voice, and that it should be a true representation of what's going on in me - heart and head. That my emotions are not trivial things to be buried, but human expressions that allow me to better communicate and to enable art in music, relationships, life. If I let people see that I'm broken, I take a big risk, but I let them know that I am real, accessible, genuine. That I care deeply.

Praying that I will be able to gracefully share my heart, using my head knowledge and my hands as the vehicle. May what I conduct, what I suggest, shape, show in choral sound - may that be a reflection of God's work in me, and enable others to express the beauty, pain, joy, sorrow that is the human experience. May His grace be apparent in how I live, think, speak, move. May He guard and guide my heart, and keep my mind in perfect peace.

1 comment:

Stephanie Howell said...

this post is extraordinarily beautiful. and it really resonates with me.
this part:
"But if what I'm working on - opening up my heart and being the real me - brings glory to God, I am doing well." is JUST what i needed to hear right now. thank you so very much for blogging your heart. xxo