I have been trying really hard lately to figure it all out. I just want to know certain things. What is the right thing? What is the thing I was made to do? Who do I want to be or become? I want to have it all nailed down and to know what is going to happen next or even just if I’m where I’m supposed to be currently. I can’t shake my own restlessness and I just can’t seem to find peace in my story.
I listened to Jon Foreman’s TEDx talk recently. Jon is my favorite writer and one of my favorite musicians. He’s basically just an incredible human being. Jon spoke on what it means to “live your song” and how you can do that. He suggests that inside each of us is a song and we can offer that to the world. A lot of times we wonder if our song matters. In the big picture of life, next to all of the war, hate, divorce, etc. does our song matter? . . . It does. It has power and it matters, he says. There is an empty space in the rhythm of life without your song. But that’s not even my favorite part.
Towards the end, Jon starts talking about how we have to have the ability to forgive ourselves for the wrong notes. We are going to mess up in life, we are going to play the wrong note. The act of living is messy, imperfect, and awkward at times, but we have to give ourselves grace, as we also have to show grace to those who “wrong note against us”, he says (I chuckled a lot at that line). He moves on to say that as a musician, you find yourselves making music with the tension. There is tension in the strings of a guitar, but it can make a beautiful melody. We live in the tension. We live in the struggle (amen, Jon!). We have the ability to make music with the tension in our lives, though. We can create a beautiful melody with the struggle, the pain, the hurt, the anger, etc.. I processed that thought for days after hearing his talk. I feel the tension in my life, most certainly. What if instead of trying to relieve the tension though, I made a melody out of it? What if I worked within the tension instead of trying to get out of it? Mind blown.
I was so pumped because Jon kept commanding: “Be brave. Be brave with your song.” Brave was my word for 2015. I wanted so badly to be brave, something I didn’t think I had in me. Looking back I see the bravery in that year. I see it in small acts like embracing silence and acknowledging my own feelings. I see it in the really big moments like resigning from my first big girl job and completing my first Tough Mudder. Even though this is a new year and I have a new word, I think I’m going to hold onto brave. Probably forever. It’s one of my favorite words and it’s what we all need to be, with our lives and our songs. Sure, that can be scary. What if we mess up? What if it doesn’t sound as good as someone else’s? What if we fail? All of those are valid questions and the fear is valid, yet we must play anyway. We must live anyways. Be brave.
I don’t know what it looks like necessarily to “live my song”. I think maybe it looks a little something like being myself . Maybe accepting the things I can offer to the world, my gifts if you will, and using them to make the world a better place. Focusing on the things I do have to offer instead of focusing on the things I don’t might be a good start. Living in love would be a good next step for me. Just being loving and showing others that they are loved. Then, I think it’s just being free in knowing who I am and who I am not. My word for this year is become. I want to become myself and stop trying to be anybody who is not me. God did not make two of me, nor did He make me in anyone else’s image except His own, so trying to be like anyone else is a terrible plan. I love running. I love writing. I love Jesus, chocolate, fish, tacos, tattoos, Duke basketball, large bodies of water, any kind of music and dolphins. I love to dance but I’m not very good at it. I laugh at everything. I’m clumsy. I’m smart and yet sometimes I lack common sense (ironing clothes for instance…). It’s all part of my song. It’s what makes me, well me. These things, they make up who I am and they contribute to the song I make out of my life, a song that’s all my own.
I hope that you will be brave with your song. I hope you will let yourself live your song and know that it matters. You don’t have to have it all figured out, neither do I, but maybe if we just keep playing our melody each day, letting our song set the tone, it will lead us right to where we belong.
“On that final day I die
I want to hold my head up high
I want to tell you that I’ve tried
To live it like a song”
Be brave with your song.
guest post by Ashlee Matthews from lovepeoplewell.com