I’ve had a “minus touch” sort of week. That’s the opposite of King Midas whose touch turned everything to gold. My touch has made everything ‘less than.’ I’ve turned everything I’ve touched to a lovely shade of poop brown. There hasn’t been anything major or significant, just a lot of little things that could have gone better and I’ve been the common denominator.
This afternoon I decided to relax at the piano. I pulled out a favorite piece I’ve played for a long time: Fur Elise. I just wanted to touch something that turned out right. I wanted to make beautiful music. But I kept hitting wrong notes. Just one or two, but it was enough to frustrate me and make me want to give up. “Why do I mess everything up?”
Then I remembered a quote from the late Dr. Wayne Dyer, “Don’t die with your music still inside you.”
Why was I willing to quit making music over a few wrong notes. On a whim, I did a quick count and this version of Fur Elise has about 900 notes. Out of 900 I was honking up less than 10 and considering the whole thing a disaster.
Why was I only counting the few misplayed notes instead of the hundreds of beautiful musical notes? Maybe that’s what I’ve been doing all week. In focusing on the things that have gone wrong, maybe I missed all the many things I’ve done well.
When we focus on our failures instead of successes it is hard to value our worth. When we count our losses instead of our blessings it is hard to stay hopeful. When we are looking for mistakes we will always find them instead of letting them get lost amongst the sea of beauty all around us.
Our ‘music’ is everything that we have to offer the world. It can be our words, art, actions, ideas, and even sometimes it really means our music. I wanted to stop my music because or a few wrong notes. Just like I wanted to stop giving of my time, help, and thoughts this week because of a few mishaps along the way.
To be a good friend to ourselves we have to stop counting the wrong notes and just enjoy all the right ones. To be a good friend to others we also have to stop counting the mistakes of people in our lives and start looking for the beautiful ‘music’ they make. And even harder is letting go of the worry that everyone around us is focusing on only our mistakes. Sadly, there are many people who are simply waiting for me, and you, to make a mistake. There will always be someone who will hear 895 beautifully played notes but will only remember the 5 that I stumbled on. That is only a sad statement about the insecurity and self-judgment in their hearts.
Let your music out! Sing, dance, volunteer, build, create, enjoy, entertain, plan, coordinate, talk, or whatever way your music expresses itself. Never stop trying to better yourself. Practice, learn, and become your best. Just don’t put more energy into counting and remembering your mistakes than you do for your successes. If you have people in your life that are focused on your mistakes be sure to offer them a smile and prayer that they too can soon refocus on the good in all.