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Thursday, May 5, 2011

Am I good enough?

Besides being a musician, I am also a professional deep-feeling therapist. Individuals who facilitate this kind of exploration must go through their own feeling process. If you want to guide people through a forest, you need have been through it yourself.

In spite of this experience, I find that there are still some emotional issues that take time to completely erode, and one of them is feeling good enough. Children with parents who accept them as they are without judgment and encourage them to grow and explore at their own pace grow up to be people who feel good enough as they are. This is the essence of true confidence. It’s not a question of achieving a certain skill level, but the sense that whatever skill level you’re at is where you’re at—and that’s okay—in fact it’s ridiculously obvious and true. It is what it is.

Most of us didn’t have the good fortune to be brought up in an atmosphere of such acceptance. We were told what we should do, feel, and think, and made to feel bad if we didn’t match up to someone else’s judgmental yardstick. Such attitudes suck the natural confidence out of children, and mould us into adults who doubt ourselves—and look to others for approval.

Am I good enough?

It has been a challenge to crawl out from under these judgments and follow my natural drive to play music. And every step forward is chance to exist in genuine freedom and confidence. The latest and most daunting challenge for me has been my challenge to record live.

Am I good enough?

One day I’d listen to myself and feel “on.” Another day, I’d feel “off.” I would engage my feelings and let them come and go. As the first sessions approached, the tension of judgment lessened and I began to get excited about playing music with my friends. It was simple, really.

We played and it felt natural and good. I listened back and rather than paying attention to tiny details, I was feeling and listening to the whole wave of the band. It worked. It was real. We enjoyed it. I enjoyed it.

I am good enough. I always have been.

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