Proverbs 4:7 (KJV)
The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom, and whatever you get, get insight.
Other translations: 7 Getting wisdom is the most important thing you can do! And with your wisdom, develop common sense and good judgment. (TLB)
Understanding seems to be somewhat hard to attain. Wisdom and knowledge can be quite elusive and without it, we can’t seem to completely understand. I’ve been on a bit of a journey in recent years and there is still so much I don’t understand.
Why am I the way I am? Why do I react the way I do? Was there a specific event that molded my mind to work a certain way? Some deep questions I never really expected I would be on an Indiana Jones type adventure to find!
I was challenged this week by a friend when our conversation took a deeper turn into the topic of confidence. We were talking primarily about our kids, and the ways in which we as parents should be strong advocates for the strengths of our children, to develop a sense of confidence in them that will allow them to flourish in their growth into adults. My friend made a comment about my strong musical / drumming ability and how I seem very confident when I play. This made me think (as most deep conversations tend to do)…I have never really felt confident about my ability to play music. Every time I sit behind a drum kit, my stomach turns and I get extremely nervous. I suppose I have developed a habit of eating my feelings to hide how I’m truly feeling. (Maybe that is why I chose to play drums… I get to hide behind a kit, behind the rest of the band!) I have an incredible fear of failure…I mean, I’m the drummer, if I screw up, there goes the song! Not many people will notice a missed note from the guitar or bass, but miss a beat and all eyes send immediate laser glances in your direction that can cause soul crushing combustion that wreaks havoc for your entire musical career! I can still remember shows where I dropped a stick or skipped a beat…haunting!!
This is when I began to question the sense of my confidence in my abilities, but mainly my unspoken level of unattainable perfection. I know I have made comments in previous posts about my lack of self confidence, but this just seems a little different. I feel as though I have lived most of life with a false sense of outward confidence trying to reach this level of perfection in my craft or ability (or in life), that seems impossible to attain. This incredible pressure I have placed on myself could likely be part of the influences that have driven some decisions I have made through some challenging times in my career that unfortunately were not the right choices to make. Please know that by no means do I use my personality flaws or mental influences as an excuse for some poor choices. We all make choices in life, and ultimately those choices are our responsibility. Yes there can be external or internal pressures, influences or reasons beyond our control that will all factor into those decisions and I will not negate that, as I feel those pressures daily. I also know the weight of the destructive turmoil that can be created when we allow those internal dialogues to ultimately cloud our judgment and understanding of the decision we are making. This is the lack of wisdom that so often prevails.
So how has this affected my confidence? I will never attain the level of perfection I seem to have placed upon myself.
I will never be good enough.
I will never be enough.
This is my consistent internal dialogue that I allow to influence everything in my life. Something as simple as playing drums in my Sunday morning church service or teaching a workshop I have taught for years brings me an anxiety and nervousness that is unwarranted and yet, unrelenting.
Where did this come from?
This is what I’ve been trying to unpack since my conversation with my friend this past week. And to be honest, I can’t seem to figure that out yet. Maybe it will be the topic of my next therapy session. But for now, I seem to go back to my childhood and the heavy influence my parents had on me. My parents are incredible human beings, who have displayed a love and devotion to family and to each other that is to be honored and respected. Their outward expression of unconditional love and support for me, my sister and all those they come in contact with is beyond anything I deserve… and when I dive into my development as a child and young boy, I can’t help but wonder if I misinterpreted the messages I received from them, or if I didn’t receive what they were trying to send…. Maybe because my childhood was void of negative or challenging times to where I might consider myself to have had a sheltered life, that once I began to experience failure or rejection, I didn’t know how to accept it and would therefor challenge myself to constantly aim for perfection so I wouldn’t need to experience that pain….
Now I am faced with the painful and very real thought of the messages I have and am sending my kids as they grow and develop into the beautiful people they will become. I will continue to express my unconditional love to them as all parents should, but am struck with panic lately that my current situation, my past decisions or my words may be sending them the wrong message. They are influenced by all the things that I have done and said…
It is like dropping a stick or missing a beat, yet the eyes that are focused on me are the ones of my own children, and those eyes mean everything to me. To feel like a disappointment as a father is one that I can never let go of. As my journey continues and I begin to unpack this in my own life, I will search for wisdom to understand and to make sure they know that even though they too may someday miss a beat or drop a stick, they have the choice to let that define them, or they can pick up, dust off and play their heart out without the expectation of an unattainable perfection.
putting your heart out there isn’t easy and I get it… don’t forget, although I’m not a councilor, I have two ears and my own story and love to listen and talk. feel free to text 7058682616