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Monday, March 25, 2013

Personal Disasters Can Distort Self Image

I love to sing. Growing up I sang solos and duets in my church. I also sang in my school choir. My Junior High music teacher decided to weed out some of the students who sang off pitch. About forty kids went through a rigid test singing alone. At the end of the song the teacher hit the last note of the song on the piano. If the singer didn't match that note he or she would be out.

I was first. Terrified and shaking as I reached the last note, I was flat. The teacher looked shocked, but he had to follow through. Because everyone had to sing the same song, most of the others memorized the last note and easily passed the test.

That experience, besides being very embarrassing, distorted my perception about my ability to sing. I avoided singing in choirs until we attended a small chapel in Germany. The choir leaders sang professionally in a nearby Opera House. They taught voice lessons during the first fifteen minutes of weekly choir practice. I learned how to breathe and sing from my lungs. Imagine my surprise when one week the choir director asked me to sing the solo part for the Sunday service.

I began to realize that my interpretation of my singing ability based on my early experience had been disastrous and crippling. I sang with my first graders when I taught school and I loved singing to my own children. Singing filled my life with joy.

What distorted perceptions of yourself are you hanging on to? Are they crippling you in your relationships? You can correct those faulty interpretations of your abilities and free yourself of perceived weaknesses. Your relationships will be much easier because you will be free to focus on other people's strengths and not on your own weaknesses.

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