Last night I took time to watch the Grammy’s and really immerse myself in them. Instead of having them on in the background, I watched with interest and observed all the human-ness the show had to offer.
Often, we look at musical artists, perfectly polished in their overly marketed branding vehicles, designed to maximize profit and we forget how they are still people. Yes, the celebrity magazines tout cliché pictures that “they’re just like us,” eating an ice cream cone, but that isn’t what I mean.
We all share the same humanity. We may go about manifesting our desires through a variety of means, but in the end, we all want to live in integrity, doing what we enjoy, building our competence and connecting deeply to others.
Yet, none of us willingly want to feel discomfort, failure and shame. Most of us prefer to stay safe and not push the envelope so our tender emotions don’t get touched. We fear that if they do, we wouldn’t be able to handle the pain. We couldn’t go on living and life would most likely be worse than before we tried.
A select few are willing to face what we all fear. Adele faced the beast last night…when she stopped, she simply stopped in the middle of her live performance, in tribute to George Michael and asked if she could start over.
She then proceeded to start over and hit the melody and sentiments within the song more deeply. On top of that, she maintained her composure and had an emotionally vulnerable ending to the song.
I could feel that she was shameful at the end, but also stronger for taking action when it didn’t feel right for her. She went on to win Album of the year, in recognition of 25, delivering an amazing acceptance speech, honoring her fellow creative female musicians.
Nothing we do is imperfect unless we judge it to be so. Artists show us on a daily basis that it is ok to screw up. They try things and fail and they keep sharing their gifts despite many people telling them, “that’s not my thing.”
“That’s not your thing?” Great. I don’t need to be liked by everyone. Thankfully we live in a world of 7 billion people. Opportunities are boundless to present your craft/competency and have it be positively acknowledged.
We live at an amazing time in life that grants us countless options to pursue whatever it is that our heart wants to express. We have levers galore to design a life that enables us to do this.
To use these levers, first we must open ourselves up to potentially failing. To saying “I need a do-over, this isn’t the right career for me, I need to break up with you because I want to love more deeply, to I can learn something new.” All these things will feel unsettling, you may even feel discomfort and shame.
If you want to allow yourself to skirt away from discomfort or shame, you can with the common sentiment, “I’ll always have tomorrow to do that.” Yet, what if you did THAT thing today and you made a horrible mess of it? You stumbled walking up to the podium, you didn’t get the promotion or that guy from Tinder turned out to be a total weirdo.
Your ego would be bruised and there may be some time wasted. However, your hands would be dirtier. Dirtier from having dug in and pushed yourself beyond invisible limits. You will also more astutely notice what it is you really want and what is worth putting in effort toward.
There is no one who has this game of Life figured out. Some may have more ornamentations and tokens of achievement to decorate their homes, but intrinsically we all have the same value.
The only thing stopping you from indulging in a life of integrity is your judgments about what you should do. Adele perhaps felt, the moment before she stopped, that she should not. Yet, she did it anyway and you could physically hear and see how her body responded to doing what was within her integrity.
Some may say she should have trained more, prepared for the stage fright more effectively or countless other tasks. That was not her role that evening, her job was to influence others in a moving musical piece and allow us to all accept our imperfections at a deeper level.
What will you do today to make a hot mess out of life and enjoy it?