Monday, April 26, 2010

Humiliation Galore

{image here}

I like to be good at stuff. And if I'm not, I'll practice or work at it until I am good at it. Mostly this is a blessing, but sometimes it's an evil curse.

Yesterday it was a curse.

I like to sing. And without sounding arrogant, I'm pretty good at it. BUT... I like to sit in the comfort of my own home & sing at my piano. To play & sing for those I love & who love me.

My entire life I've been terrified to sing in "public." I choke. My heart starts to race, I get hives, spit forms in my mouth under my tongue & I can't breathe. {And breathing is somewhat of an important component in the whole singing formula.}

Husband doesn't understand this phobia. He thinks, "You've got a beautiful voice. Use it." Oh, thanks. Phobia cured. That would be the easy way wouldn't it? But for some dang reason my talent & my nerves don't see eye to eye. So, Husband decided to take drastic measures to rid me of this problem. He told the bishop of our church that I can sing & would "love" to sing a solo in one of our meetings.

{AHHHHH!!!! My throat is closing up just remembering the story.} Fantastic.

So, cut to the short story... Here is me walking up to the pulpit & mic to sing a beautiful song. I'm playing mind games with myself. Faith cannot coexist with fear. All of these people are your friends - they want you to succeed. This if for you Jesus.

I thought I'd pretty much convinced myself until the first note comes out full of nervous vibrato. Not pretty. Oh laws. I feel the heat as the hives emerge on my neck & chest. I try to listen to myself sing the words to give me comfort & strength. "His love never fails me. He leads my heart when my eyes can't see. When my soul is lost he carries me."

I could use some carrying right about now. Hello?

In this moment of self pity, my voice cracks. You've got to be kidding me! In all my practicing & in all my days, my voice has never cracked. I'm in a freaking nightmare. Wake up! Wake up!

Nope. They're all still here staring at me. Lovingly, but nonetheless staring.

I make it to the bridge & although I'm embarrassed & exhausted, I start doing better. I'm not nailing it, but it's okay. I put my hand on my chest trying to calm myself so my heart doesn't literally beat out of my chest as I finish. The ending piano section seems to last a painful eternity. I want to leap off the stage & run for the hills. I want to convert to another religion so I'll never have to see any of these people ever again. I want to say... Okay, let's try that again. I promise, I really can sing.

Why? Why did it have to go down like that? I was really trying to overcome this fear. To put myself out there & use my talent so I won't lose it. I wasn't digging a hole & burying it in the earth, I was trying to use it & this is what happens? That really sucks.

So, I walk down the stairs & head straight for the exit, purposefully not making eye contact with anyone. I go for the first door. It's locked. Of course it is. I can feel my eyes begin to well & I know I don't have much time. I try the next door & it opens with ease & as I close it behind me the humiliation sets in as do the sobs.

I cry for a few minutes & feel real sorry for myself. I wonder why it had to go down like that. What was I supposed to learn?

Husband finds me & I cry into his shoulder. He lets me as he rubs my back. "I'm proud of you," he whispers.

"Shut up," is all I can manage through wet sniffles.

It's quiet for a time & as I breathe a sigh, I know everything is going to be okay. Although I am {extremely} disappointed & I still feel like a loser, it's better to try & make a fool of myself in front of my friends than not try at all I suppose. {This is the lesson I keep telling myself when I feel the humiliation come on.} I'm sure I was blessed for at least giving it a go. And perhaps I needed a little more humbling. :) Dang virtue.

So, I challenge you all to try something you've been putting off. Do something you're afraid of doing. It might be really hard at first, but that's how we grow.

Thanks for pushing me to be better Husband. Complacency will never produce excellence. Now I've got to gear myself to try again. Just maybe not in church quite yet.


  1. I have been there. With the singing in church. It is hard. Sometimes I am more nervous then others. Sometimes my voice cracks, sometimes it doesn't. The more you do it the easier it will get.

    I haven't done it in over 5 years, and now it is really hard to go back.

    Maybe try a duet.

  2. Oh, that's just mean, but good for you for going through it. You are much braver than I am for sure!

  3. Heather, you are way to hard on yourself. Both Dustin and I thought that you did a really good job! I would listen you sing anytime. Great Job! :)