On Friday afternoon, about an hour after I published my post on becoming human spam, my friend Catherine Lombardozzi, author of Learning Environments by Design, called me. She wanted to tell me how much the post resonated with her and in our ensuing discussion, I stumbled into something that's been bothering me for both myself and for all of us.
It's the problem of voice--of how we explore and express our authenticity and wholeness.
Here's what I believe.
All of us carry inside of ourselves a symphony.
If you listen to a symphony, there are different instruments, each playing a different part, a different role, all of the parts coming together to create a full, glorious piece of music.
Some of the instruments and their parts, if you listen to them alone, make no sense--they are supporting players to the melody and there is little that you might recognize in that portion of the music. Some instruments may even disappear for a time, or take a back seat. But they add richness and vibrancy to the overall piece. Their loss means it's no longer a symphony.
Other instruments carry the melody. You might listen to to just that part and be able to tell what the symphony was about. But you wouldn't be able to appreciate it fully--to know it in all of its glory and beauty.
We live in a society that doesn't always appreciate the symphony. It wants you to play one instrument--maybe a couple of them--and it wants you to forget about the other parts and instruments that make your symphony full and glorious. We want you to carry the melody, the part that is most recognizable to us.
If you insist on performing a symphony, then we get upset if you need to practice first. Maybe you haven't quite perfected the drums part or the horns, so your symphony seems a little cacophonous to our ears. We are quick to shame you--to tell you to shut up, take that instrument home. But what might have happened if we let you practice a little, so you could bring in that all-important section of yourself? What if you were able to add that to the piece to make it richer?
It's important that we go beyond the melody of our lives--that we bring in all instruments and let them contribute to the power of who we are.
What parts of the symphony of your life do you silence and how can you bring them back in?