If you sing out loud and no one is there to hear you…do you sound good?
I love to sing. I sing loudly. I sing badly. I sing off key, sometimes off tempo, and most times by myself. I sing when I am happy, giggling and dancing in my own imaginary talent show.
I sing through tears when I am sad. I wipe snot and muck and tears off my face and play the song on repeat until all the sorrow is washed away and I can take a deep, calm, slow breath.
I sing every word of a song if I know it—in fact I also sing the background vocals and attempt a rendition of the instrumental solos complete with hand gestures and head shaking.
If I am in my car, forget it! All bets are off. I literally become Mariah, Beyoncé, Mary J, Aretha, Adele, Lauryn.
Time slows down, nothing else comes to mind and even though my hands are on the wheel, my eyes are on the road and my feet are on the pedals, it doesn’t feel that way.
It feels as if I have floated upwards, unbound, unchained, un-tethered and free. I am sailing along the sky.
I do this because it feels good. I mean it feels Goooood.
It feels so good—singing could get me through just about everything and anything.
Sometimes I have sudden flashes of anxiety about this, that and the other: sleeping alone, waking up alone, wanting my man next to me, dreaming of marriage and children, feeling him far away and busy.
I worry about working too much, working too little, sleeping too much, sleeping too little, not enough yoga, not enough organic green vegetables and too many rice cakes.
I worry about not enough followers, not enough posts, too much social media, and of course, did anyone Like it?
I worry about writing my dissertation and finally finishing school and worry some more—what if that’s still not enough?
Sometimes I feel heavy, sometimes I feel lazy and sometimes I question whether I am performing beneath my potential. Sometimes I feel like what I want is right around the corner of a very long, winding, uphill street.
Sometimes I absolutely do not worry about any of these things—I go out on a great date, feel the intimacy of a beautiful kiss, sleep next to the man I love and wake up with him next to me, sleepy and perfect.
I eat right, sleep right and sweat it out in yoga. I smile wide as I plan my world changing research while going for a long run outside. I teach a sweaty yoga class to a packed room and give hugs and express gratitude as students leave. I am thankful and excited for next time. I have a full and busy life.
During ups, during downs, I sing.
So if no one hears me, if I sing off key, if I get the words wrong, if I miss a beat, who cares? Does it matter? When I am sad because I want what I don’t have, singing reminds me of what I do in fact have (spirit, love, joy, self possession), and what matters.
When I am happy for what’s unfolding, singing helps me celebrate the abundance and sends out a joyful vibration to my universe.
I think singing feels so good because I used to always skip around singing as a child.
I had no concept of judgment. I didn’t have worries and for the most part I lived according to what felt fun. I gravitated to where I found love and expressed my pleasure with abandon, diving knee deep in song.
I would make up the words if I didn’t know them. As long as I could sing and feel free, life was good.
A few decades later, not much has changed except now there is worry.
Now there are places where love is absent, distracted or shut down.
Now there are glimpses of fear and expectation, leading to disappointment and pain.
Now there are lonely nights and hectic days.
And then there is my heart, be it open and filled with radiant light or weary, heavy with clouds and longing.
There is always a song. That is what really matters.
Oh, I have to go now! My favorite song just came on!
Author: Melinda Abbott
Editor: Renee Jahnke
Image: Celestine Chua-Flickr