The most recurring thing for me in helping folks is the idea of moving forward. A little bit is good. A lot is great. Off to one side’s ok too, if it will end up in front of where you started. As a therapist I am usually only around for beginning of the change process so I try really hard to start that forward momentum. I don’t want to get all hokey with the journey of a thousand miles starts with a footstep thing, but it’s true. I have never figured out why someone is walking a thousand miles, but whatever.
I have a friend name Patrick Barrett. He is in a national band called Unhindered (unhinderedworship.com). When they were a tiny band out of Atlanta looking for gigs, my church, CiboloCreekCommunityChurch brought them in for a few days for a youth conference. I was talking to Pat about songwriting and playing him some things I had written. We were talking about the anxiety of letting someone hear something that you created and exposing yourself to criticism, shame and ridicule (at least that’s what it feels like). Pat told me a story that has stuck with me. I am going to paraphrase, so I hope I get it right.
Pat told me that one day he was messing around in his room with a guitar working on a song and his dad came in and asked what he was doing. Pat answered sheepishly that he was messing around and writing songs just for him and his enjoyment. His dad told him something to the effect that God had given him a gift and it wasn’t just for him. It was to share with everyone. Creative types tend to hone and edit and hone and edit and hone and edit. If one can present a perfect work then there is no room for criticism, shame and ridicule and the sensitive artistic temperament can stay in tact. Pat has written some amazing songs. At some point he decided to let people hear them. He let people hear them and he moved forward.
I learned a lesson from Pat’s dad too and by watching Pat blossom as a songwriter over the last 10 years. Brilliant doesn’t matter if it never sees the light of day. Eventually a baby bird needs to be shoved out of the nest. I’ll take brilliant if it some how stumbles out of me, don’t get me wrong. For all of the times it doesn’t I’ll take well thought out and articulate. I’ll take funny. I’ll take stumbling my way into helping someone have an “aha” moment. This blog and the book I am finishing are gifts back for anyone that can use them. They are a payment for the bazillions of blessings that I have been given. They are also baby birds. They need to start flapping their wings.
Tell me what baby birds are chirping in your nest. Maybe I can help you shove them out.