What I seem to find the hardest in this business is learning to be happy for other people's successes. It seems that every day, almost every hour, I'm faced with a post about something amazing that is happening for someone else. It's always exciting news like 'my single is being played on commercial radio' or 'I've just been picked up by a management team' or 'we're on tour and will be performing at another sold out show.' That is all really awesome news and I'd like my first reaction to be 'Wow!! Good for you guys!' but instead it's almost always 'Why not ME!!!' I then spend the rest of the day stewing and muttering about the stupidity of the system or the impossibility of my situation or so many other 'poor poor me' mantras that I’m actually too embarrassed to admit to. And, you know, I am a good person. I do want success to happen for other people, really I do… and in the large scheme of things, I do eventually feel happy for them. I would like to get there faster though. I'd like to get there immediately. I am tired of feeling resentful… like a victim. I am not a victim!! I know this to be true.
I remember watching an Oprah interview where she talked about how badly she wanted to be cast in “The Color Purple." She said that she prayed that God would help her let go of her dream to be in the movie if it wasn't meant to be, if it wasn’t part of her plan for her.
I completely understand this feeling, the desperation to just be released from wanting something so badly. I totally get it. All I've ever wanted to do was be a performer. I've written songs my whole life and been playing in bands for what feels like forever. All I've ever wanted was to do is what I'm doing now. That is why I finally mustered up the courage to leave my union job and pursue music fulltime. I don’t need to be a millionaire (although that would be nice). I would like to be able to pay my bills though.
And I can hear it already, all the other musicians saying, 'I told you so!! You can't do it. It's too hard. Other people that are better than you have tried and failed.' I even have people who say these things in my close circles. But I know that where you put your energy grows and just because so and so failed doesn't mean that I will. I believe that you can manifest your dreams. I know this is real and I've done it before. And, you know, it's easy to 'keep the faith' when everything is going well. However, where the rubber meets the road is in keeping the faith even when what you see with your physical eyes reflects your deepest darkest fears.
What my eyes see is that my summer of festivals won’t be happening. What my eyes see is that I'm having a really hard time getting gigs. In fact it sometimes takes weeks to get one gig and mathematics would say that I'll never be able to make it with those kinds of odds against me. But this is where I need to keep believing, keep my eye on the goal, the dream. This is where I need to keep the faith. I know (at least some of the time) that I have everything that I need to make this work inside me right now. So, what else do I need to do?
As I blog with all my questions, the word ‘gratitude’ comes forward for me. And then suddenly I get it… I need to feel gratitude for all the awesome things that I already have. I need to place my focus on what I have, the gifts that I have received, the love that I feel, the friends that I have, the opportunities that have come. I need to focus on being grateful. I forget this. I often forget this.
Thank you for helping me remember.