Connection is why we’re here. It’s what gives meaning and purpose to our lives. Yes? So if connection is so vital to our well-being, then why do so many of us struggle with it? Shame. I’ve talked about it before, but music is one of the largest cultural culprits of shaming and blaming people – at least the institutions and systems we practice. Tell me if you’ve heard this before,
“WHO played that wrong note?,” “Fix it,” “I listen to everything except country and rap,” “only real musicians know this group,” “Only girls play the flute,” and the list goes on. It’s not just music, we live in a culture of shame and blame. It’s our cultural post-traumatic stress. To quote Dr. Brene Brown, “Our Culture of scarcity is defined by this sentence. Never _____ Enough.
Never good enough. Never perfect enough. Never thing enough. Never powerful enough. Never successful enough. Never smart enough. Never extraordinary enough.
Scarcity thrives in a culture where everyone is hyperaware of lack. Everything from safety and love to money and resources feels restricted or lacking. We spend inordinate amounts of time calculating how much we have, want, and don’t have, and how much everyone else has, needs, and wants. The greatest casualties of a scarcity culture are our willingness to own our vulnerabilities and our ability to engage with the world from a place of worthiness. Three components of scarcity are shame, comparison, and disengagement. To transform this scarcity, we need to dare greatly. We need to cultivate worthiness, a clear sense of purpose, and we need to re-engage.
It has been my personal philosophy in music (and life) that failure is the only option. People get audibly uncomfortable when I tell them “I don’t care how you sound, I care that you’re here.” Vulnerability is not knowing victory or defeat, it’s understanding the necessity of both. The “Maestro” you had in other musical groups that shames you into perfection is a broken person living inside an outdated system. It’s Idolatry. Perfect is seductive, but it doesn’t exist in the human experience. We must walk into a new relationship, an important meeting, our creative process, or a difficult conversation with courage and willingness to engage. Rather than sitting on the sidelines and hurling judgment and advice, we must dare to show up and let ourselves be seen.
Yours in vulnerability, Garrett