A year ago – almost to the day – I wrote a post about singing.
How I had always believed I couldn’t sing. Scarred by a music teacher in third grade who yanked me out of the chorus and sent me into tears when she demanded that I just, “lip it.”
I’m going to my Kindergartener’s very first holiday recital this morning, and woke up energized and excited for his big day – and thinking about that post – and remembering that I got it wrong.
I hadn’t always believed I couldn’t sing.
Just the year before, when I was in second grade, I had been selected as a soloist in the school wide pageant. While hundreds of other elementary students filled the stage dressed as Christmas trees, I was put on an apple box right up front. Dressed as one of three elves next to Mr. & Mrs. Clause.
I even made the paper. My mom even saved the clipping. But, somehow I couldn’t hang on to it. I let go of that sweet, fun, loving and even powerful memory with ease, and replaced it with one that would hurt and hold me back for far too long.
The first time I confided in someone outside of my immediate family about being diagnosed with depression, I was with a dear friend in a bookstore.
“You know the Dalai Lama’s brother has depression,” she said. “And, when someone asked him, ‘Why do you think that is – what do you think is the cause of his depression?’ – he answered, ‘Faulty thinking.'”
I instinctively responded, “I totally have that.”
“You’re in good company,” she said.
And we smiled. Real smiles. And hugged.
The faulty thinking trips me up. The pull to the bad shit. The hanging on to what hurts. The distraction of the spots on the glass, taking away from the clean water that patiently awaits to relieve my thirst.
And while I don’t have a cure for faulty thinking, I may have a treatment:
My surface memories have a tendency to play tricks on me. They’re mostly of the Mrs. Music Teacher brand. Constantly reminding me that I’m off, wrong, ugly, stupid, and certainly, not enough. I don’t particularly enjoy them, but yet pay them an awful amount of attention.
But, when I’m brave enough to finally stop placating them and fully invite them in, they stop playing tricks. And start teaching me to sing.