Wednesday, September 08, 2010

One note short of a full chord...



Listen to who I am (JonJon) wrote:

“I think members of your tribe also allow you to be your true authentic self in a way that allows your true authentic self to emerge. They don't hold on to expectations of what they want you to be or what you have been in the past. They treat each interaction with you as an opportunity to know who you are in that moment, instead of allowing past perceptions to distort how they treat you in that moment.

“Interactions with members of your tribe aren't limited to two roles interacting with each other, or two people trying to be what they think the other person expects/wants them to be. All of that is stripped away and it's soul to soul. Do you ever feel in life like you are merely an actor playing a part? Did you know that it doesn't necessarily need to be that way? Did you know you can show up as yourself and that when you do, it makes it easier to find members of your tribe?


“Of course, the scary part is that in order to find your tribe, you have to allow yourself to be known. As you are. No roles to cling to. Mother, father, son, daughter, academic, Mormon, disaffected Mormon, homosexual, leader, follower, clown, skeptic, insert job title. All those roles have to be stripped away to leave just you. Naked. Vulnerable. Ready to be known.

“When you do that though, when you strip away the roles and allow yourself to be known, you find members of your tribe and you experience a two way flow of love and energy that is beautiful and nourishing and healthy and sustainable. It's truly transformative.”



I really like this. I call it soul-to-soul, or spirit-to-spirit communication. I like the word “connect”. It is a real, and dare I say “authentic” connection between two people. I’ve experienced this numerous times. It is life-altering when those connections are made. I’ve never termed it “finding your tribe” before, but I like it. We are all different, and yet it doesn’t matter when we are “ready to be known”. Those differences or unique aspects of who we are shine forth and be just are! And tribal connections are made.

This tribal connection has happened with me when I am naked, vulnerable and willing to truly be myself. I truly love being naked! I love my vulnerability. I love my true self. I love who I am. So, why then, do I spend 90% of my life acting? Why am I entrenched in a role-play?

I am a huge role-player. I am currently playing the role of heterosexual husband, father, family member. I am playing the role of church priesthood leader, example, teacher. What’s funny is when I stop pretending to be who I am supposed to be and just be myself, I do better with others, I feel less anxiety, and I am able to connect with others. I feel more "tribal".

The other day I had an ad-hoc spontaneous discussion in the hallway at church with a few sisters. I love music and find music one of the ways to strip it all away and be naked and vulnerable and ready to be known. One of them had played a beautiful piano solo that had an interesting way of playing incomplete chords… like you’re expecting the full chord, but it came up one note short. I pointed out to these sisters how I loved that in the piece… how beautiful it was to not be a complete chord, but to be one note short of a complete expected chord. The beauty was in the incompleteness, the naturalness and intentness on not being a perfect chord.

One sister piped up: “It sounds like you, Brother B”.

I replied: “In what way?”

She answered without any hesitation: “Well, you’re unique. You’re atypical. You’re not like everyone else. You’re one note short of a full chord. And we love you that way!”

We embraced and I teared up for a moment. As I struggle to come to terms with my “differences” and “uniquenesses” it hit me that they love me BECAUSE of those things, not DESPITE those things. And I love them for the same reasons!

I know I’m a bit quirky, whacked, and yes, even touched. I’m different! I accept that. I told them that I had been accused of being “one taco short of a combination plate” but never “one note short of a full chord”. We all laughed.

And yet, I’ve gone back to that concept and appreciated that input. They love me FOR my uniqueness, FOR my being atypical, FOR not being “like” everyone else. Maybe I’m not as good of an actor as I thought I was. Maybe I am more vulnerable and naked and real. But at times, I feel like I have to play the full chord, that it would be wrong, or imperfect, or incorrect or inappropriate to leave that last note off. And yet the beauty comes with not playing that last note.

Wouldn’t it be sad if we were all perfect role-players, perfect actors, full chords? Isn’t the joy in our connections with each other coming from our uniquenesses, our differences, our challenges?

When I am natural and stripped of my roles (and boy are there plenty of roles to be played!), when I just am, I feel available to reach out, to express myself spirit-to-spirit, soul-to-soul, and risk it all – and therefore, be free to love. I want to extend myself, embrace others, touch, feel, vibrate, connect, love. And that is when I feel confident and assured, at peace, strengthened, enlarged, compassionate, passionate, sensitive. I feel happy with who I am when I am this way. I am not acting, or being, or living up to expectations.

I just am. I am ready to be part of a tribe. And I connect.

I actually connect quite easily – when I allow myself to do so. I thrive on it, seek it, and thirst for it.

But why, then, am I allowing myself to be so thirsty? Why do I deprive myself of my tribe? Why am I so willingly playing in this never-ending role-play of life? Why am I content to act instead of just be? Why do I feel compelled to finish the chord and play that last note?

10 comments:

Clark said...

"You're one note short of a full chord, and we love you that way". That story gave me chills.

Beck said...

CLARK: I'm not sure if that gave you a GOOD chill or a BAD chill - hopefully a good chill.

It's quite lonely acting out this gig as a priesthood leader when you feel so confused and different inside. These sister don't have a clue (or maybe they do?) how different I really am... but then you do, and you relate and that means a lot.

Thanks.

J G-W said...

I like this.

Beck said...

JGW: Thanks for being part of my "tribe".

MNJ said...

why DO we feel the need to find that taco? i just want to be happy & at peace withOUT the taco - five years ago, i was trying extra hard t be peter priesthood & all that that name holds as a standard - but i wasn't happy. now i think i am actually MORE "in tune" because i am living true & honest.
if i find that taco in our green smoothies i'll be sure to let you know, MNJ

GeckoMan said...

Dear, Dear Beck! What you write resonates and describes my thirsty life as well. You must be part of my tribe. Why do we act? Because we want to. Because the impulse is always there to be better, to fill the chord, to be busy, and create perfection if it is possible. And I fear we will always be searching for tribe, never quite satisfied. But then, isn't that just one note short of a full chord?

"Peace, be still." In other words, "Let it be."

GeckoMan said...

Dear, Dear Beck! What you write resonates and describes my thirsty life as well. You must be part of my tribe. Why do we act? Because we want to. Because the impulse is always there to be better, to fill the chord, to be busy, and create perfection if it is possible. And I fear we will always be searching for tribe, never quite satisfied. But then, isn't that just one note short of a full chord?

"Peace, be still." In other words, "Let it be."

Beck said...

MNJ: I've recently been thrown into a "Peter Priesthood" role and I can't help but play the game. I've been in this situation before with this calling, and in the past it was trying to find that missing taco or missing note to be a "perfect" fit with what was expected of me.

This time, however, I'm trying to celebrate that I am a one-note-short kind of guy who is missing his taco! That's why when these sisters said what they said without any hesitation or prompting, I teared up.

Is it possible to be ME and still be in a "Peter Priesthood" role, without acting as I think they expect one to act in that position?

I'm not sure, but this time I'm trying to be ME and be that guy who doesn't care if the taco is missing!

Thanks for being part of the tribe.

GECKO: Thanks, too, for being part of my tribe! Acting has its role as we try to be better, to be the best that we can be, following the Lord and his example of perfection.

But, acting as something that I am not isn't going to get me where I want to be - not this time! NOT THIS TIME!

This time, I'm going to be the best me that I can be, but be happy to be who I am and if that doesn't finish the chord, so be it... I can still make beautiful music!

Ned said...

dar bck, im hppy t b prt o yur trib

MNJ said...

beck - i tried to send you an email & it bounced back undeliverable. are you accepting outside emails? mnj