Do you play guitar?
It was an innocent question, very appropriate for a songwriter meeting and the inquirer simply curious, yet I cringed slightly when he asked. He knew I played the keys, but hadn’t known me long enough to know if my skills included other instruments.
The other thing he didn’t know is the emotion that question could stir in me. Let’s just name it, shall we? Gulp…guilt.
My guess is that you now have a question of your own. “Why would the guitar question inspire guilt?” Let me unfold the rest of the story.
I answered him, “No, I have both a guitar and ukulele, but I can’t play either one of them.”
(The truth is I have a “very nice” Taylor guitar. I spent a lot of money on it.)
I told him that I “can’t” play them, but the more honest answer is that I “don’t” play them.
I want to play both those instruments and I want to create songs for them as well as piano. So, the guilt rises from my thoughts of “I spent all that money on something I am not using.” and this one, “I say I want to do something, but my actions are not showing it.”
I caught myself starting to spout that I don’t have time to learn them.
“I don’t have time.”
That is so easy to say, isn’t it? The more accurate statement would be this,
“I am not currently using my time to learn those instruments.”
Have you ever used the “don’t have time” line?
So, here’s the discovery that you and I could benefit from:
What is it we REALLY want?
Do I REALLY want to play the guitar and ukulele?
What is it you are telling yourself you want or want to do, yet your actions do not validate your words?
Play an instrument? plant a garden? lose 10 pounds? get a new job?
We all have 24 hours a day. It is ours to divide however we like.
I realize we have certain responsibilities, but even in those we can choose. I might add, if we do not choose, it will be chosen for us.
And I don’t have to choose to feel guilty.
I can simply be honest with myself and say, “Yep. I spent that money with good intention, but right now I am not using my time to learn to play the guitar or the ukulele.”
But I may also use the guilt to drive me a bit in this case. I am taking 3 steps today toward doing what I say I REALLY want to do.
Blocking time on the calendar for practice (15 minutes a day goes a long way!)
I’ve made an appointment with my son (who is visiting this weekend) to put new strings on my guitar.
Pulling the ukulele out of its box and playing today.
Here is how I would challenge you (and me) today:
-Tell yourself the truth about why you aren’t stepping into the things you say you want.
-Decide you love your reason or not.
-If you love your reason, then don’t do it, but stop saying you want to and lose the guilt.
-If you still REALLY want “it”, take 3 steps today toward that goal.