I was listening to the Grateful Dead – Live at the Fillmore East this afternoon…I love their cover of Smokey Robinson and the Miracles’ “Second That Emotion.” One of the things I love about it is that the mistakes in their performance of the song are included, and that the mistakes give the song an added character. From this, I found a reminder of an important life lesson.
I’ve always been so critical of myself, and at times have allowed myself to play the role of victim….it’s been a “and so it goes” mentality of failure and defeat. Prior to the pandemic, one of the things I truly enjoyed was singing at the CSL Metro services, as the services always ended with the saying “and so it is”, as an uplifting way of wishing peace to one another. From this, I’ve found a way of finding a new since of inner peace, as I don’t feel a sense of being a victim or a failure, and I don’t nit-pick at my mistakes the way I used to.
My new company is having a virtual contest similar to “America’s Got Talent”….as I’m one of the finalists, one of my goals is not to focus on winning or losing – I’m going to give it 1000%, but once I’m done singing, I will feel completely satisfied, even if I end up hitting a wrong note or two. Normally, I’d be very down on myself after a bad performance, looking for some type of excuse or justification in my head as a way of making myself feel like a victim. The phrase “and so it goes” would replay like a tape in my mind. I’m learning to flip that to “and so it is,” as that’s more of a feeling of comfort, like mistakes are not the end of the world, and that they don’t define my talents or my abilities. It’s easier said than done after years of quickly going to the negative, but it will help me to stay more positively in the moment.
As I listened to the Dead song today, I noticed that Jerry Garcia’s guitar was a hair flat, but had it been perfectly in tune, the song wouldn’t have had that flavor or characteristic. For some reason, I enjoy the song more because of that, and I hope that I can better embrace my own imperfections the same way.
And so it is.