Has Your Internal Engineer Muted Your Voice?

(Note: This was drafted in June so the reference to Christmas was originally a reference to my last birthday--which only emphasizes the point!)

Do you remember hearing your own voice recorded for the first time? Almost everybody responds the same: “Do I really sound like that?”

My first "gig" as a vocalist was at age six, soloing “Sunbeam” in a Sunday morning church service. That was followed closely by an appearance in my mother’s Christmas production

 reciting a lengthy poem, “Happy Birthday, Jesus,” with the choir humming Silent Night in the background. I, too, was shocked the first time I heard myself recorded. Since it never met with my expectations, my internal sound engineer decreased the volume until, eventually I was muted.
Perfectionism had gained the upper hand. I was afraid of the sound of my own voice and stopped singing altogether.

Thankfully, and with lots of help, I've been able to rehabilitate some of that musical malfunction and reclaimed the gift of song.

However, another Christmas has just passed, the year is closing, and I’ve discovered that my internal engineer controls yet another “voice”: my thoughts. No worries, though. This time I'm onto her. I have decided, “enough already!” A sign in my office exhorts, “Don’t die with the music still in you.” So I’m taking baby steps, brainstorming what I might write about if I could shush the mouth of that eternal, internal critic; if I blogged "for reals".

Here’s a list. Here’s what I would write about if I wasn’t afraid of the sound of my own voice. I would…
   … write about spiritual transformation—the collaboration of Christian spirituality and psychology, a comprehensive bio-psycho-social approach. That we are whole integrated creations of a very smart God and though each domain is unique, if humans are to experience wellness, no part of us can be successfully ignored.

   … write about worship—the experiences and lessons of over 25 years of music ministry, some paid, some volunteer; the pleasure, the pain of loving and leading; the lessons learned, the joys; the ups, the downs, the schizoid creative muse/cryptic manager ; the friends gained, the losses suffered.

   … encourage and empathize; celebrate and lament.

   … share recipes and lifestyle websites that inspire—and irritate—me.

   … develop that greeting card line I’ve been talking about for 10 years and find a way to make it happen.

   ... write about...

~writing and creativity in general, and promote art and artists that I believe in. And invite you to talk back.
~books I’m reading and the concerts and movies I attend; promote/discuss/review them; about communicating—the power and pleasure and privilege.
~life in God, biblical text, and how to know him through the Jesus of history.
~jazz and the joy of being a musician, and tell you where I am performing, and how and where you might “come out and play” with me.
~family life and grandkids and redemption and divorce and walking with the same partner for years and years and years and …
~death and caring for those who are dying.
~what I’ve learned about attending college as an adult; all the interesting people I meet and the interesting conversations we have; the little bit of travel I’ve been privileged to do; the herbs I like to grow; working at school and in retail.

I would write about all that because I have something to say; because I want to offer my voice to the collective conversation in hope of making sense of our past, our now better, and our future brighter.

I would do that and much more if I wasn’t afraid of the sound of my own voice.

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