I just watched an amazing YouTube video of a violinist and violist performing a piece by Mozart. They played with grace, ease, and such a sense of joy; it was really fun to watch. It brought out some emotion in me as music often does.
I can find myself in tears when witnessing really exceptional music being performed well. I sometimes have the same reactions to worship music too, the message being particularly direct to what I have or am experiencing.
It was this morning however, that I believe it finally hit home. I will never be a accomplished, recognized or celebrated classical musician, and I won’t write a popular worship song, or realize my dream to work in either field professionally.
Haha, there are those of you who knew the conclusion of the matter was decided long ago, I get it. But we all hang onto dreams and unrealistic hopes don’t we? We tend to do it far after the opportunities we’ve had have all but expired.
- I remember being in the fifth grade and deciding to play the violin, one of an innumerable and vast number of kids to do so. Most gave it a year or two, but I stuck it out for a bit longer than that. Having played through grade school, high school, and receiving a scholarship for the violin in college, I managed a couple years there before abandoning that dream.
- I also had some design and artistic skills which I enjoyed. I loved to draw cars and had hoped to work in the transportation design field someday. I went to a year of art college locally and then applied to and was accepted by a prestigious design school, but never attended.
- Then there was the inspiration of a church leader who though I would make a good youth pastor. So I spent a year in Bible college, but that was a complete disaster.
It wasn’t ever abundantly clear I was already destined to not realize these dreams until just recently.
The most devastating failure happened when after decades of serving in worship in the church as mostly a volunteer, I had the opportunity to serve full time in this amazing field. But like every one of the opportunities before I ended up resigning after about a year.
Now I see why, now I know why, and I can sort of accept it knowing that I was never destined to fulfill any of those things.
As a child, I had my worth and motivation severely damaged by sexual abuse. It is easily seen when you look at all the opportunities I had and realize pretty much all of them were motivated and inspired by someone else and not me. I was a people pleaser. I wanted to be accepted and I learned that if I performed I would be appreciated. The problem was that I could only sustain that effort for a little while before depression, and shame hijacked the goal.
So I tried and tried, and gave a little more of my soul away with every failure. I experienced devastating losses over and over but I wasn’t a quitter, so I got up and kept at it. Even a dog knows not to bark after he’s been slapped a few times, but not me.
It was as I observed the bliss of these musicians doing what they were made to do that I realized I have pursued the wrong things for all my life. I don’t need the approval of men to validate the fact I have been on this planet! I don’t need to leave a big mark in a specific field to prove my worth and contribution to society! I have been after the wrong things for so long I believed they were true.
What I simply want is peace. No degree or recognition, award or accolade of man will provide this. I am tired from flailing around and making all these efforts for people to like me, respect me, or appreciate my gifts. None of that matters now.
But it isn’t all for nothing.
What can I contribute in spite of all this? Is there anything of worth I can leave with the world before my short time is up? Yes there is…it is my story; and the hope and desire that telling it will help someone else avoid the traps I fell into.
That it would be strength and inspiration to someone who is at a stage in which change will actually avail them something positive. That the telling of my abusive childhood will help others have the will and determination to face down their challenges. That a young man or woman, who has suffered at the hand of another will see there is hope in spite of being used and left for dead. If I do not speak, who will?
Its not popular. As I began focusing on the church and its anemic approach to sexual addiction, and indeed the many facets of sexual dysfunction I was opposed, by some in the the church. When I opened up with great honesty about addiction and its inception as well as the resulting pain and destruction, I saw what few people read my blog, diminish.
That will not silence me. Numbers alone are never the litmus test of the importance of a message, and forerunners are usually the ones to be marginalized by the powers that be.
As I address the subjects of sexual abuse and addiction, I don’t do this to waste my time or yours. I write from my heart, and all the pain and frustration are very evident and somewhat justified. I will speak until I draw my dying breath, and in doing so I will not relent in challenging establishment to rise above the tide of despair that is quickly overwhelming many of Gods cherished people. The silent and secret addiction to porn that brings shame upon the user cannot be allowed to go unnoticed until it is too late; and the life-long effects of childhood abuse are a death sentence that deprives the soul of any joy and worth if not treated as the serious problem it is.
Hmmmm, my life may have some powerful purpose and meaning after all.
Here is the video I referred to at the beginning of the post. Just watch her face! Enjoy!!!