Physically, emotionally and relationally; whether literally or figuratively

There is something about singing that is cathartic.  Maybe it’s the deep breathing from your diaphragm.  Or, maybe it’s the emotion and inflection that’s a part of all good singing.  Perhaps it is even something more essential striking at our core.  I don’t know about you, but I’ve been at more than one funeral where I’ve been completely composed until I started to sing.  Then, my voice cracks, my chin quivers & I get that funny feeling around my mouth as the tears come.  What is this phenomenon?

I’m sure the psychologist and maybe even the physiologists could give us the emotional and physical reasons.  However, it’s not really those scientific reasons I’m interested in.  What I am interested in is the unleashing of the emotions and the release of physical control that is tied to singing.  Whether we sing literally or our song is formed by our love and deeds I return to my assertion: we all need someone to sing to.

If singing is the vocal embodiment of our deepest emotions, then singing to someone is an expression of our deepest connection.

Singing to someone admits our emotional vulnerability.  It not only opens us up to a critique of our singing ability which is scary enough; it also lays bare our heart.  And as frightening as all those things may be, without someone to sing to we are denied an essential gift.  Without someone to sing to we miss the opportunity to touch another person’s heart by offering ours.  Not singing to someone is a repudiation of our inter-connectedness.  Singing is our love out in the open.  It brings us to a state I believe our maker intended.  Singing to someone may not feel comfortable.  It may make you uneasy.  After all, any activity that opens up your soul is fraught with trepidation.  The thing is, it’s worth it, no matter how our song is sung.

Despite our anxiety, despite our fear and despite our aversion to perhaps getting our feelings hurt; we are made to take risks.  Far beyond the cliché: “Nothing ventured, nothing gained” I think we can make the case for “Without risk, there is no living.”  I’m not talking about jumping out of airplanes or off bridges or swimming with sharks.  Those are all physical things that, properly planned, can be nearly risk free.  And while exhilarating, they hold far less chance than even, say, getting up to speak in front of a crowd which most fear more than death itself.  No, risking our own emotional stasis, putting ourselves “out there” is us operating without a net.  Singing, as in speaking, affords no do-overs and often we don’t hit all the notes.  And we, along with the ones to whom we sing, have to be accepting of that fact.  Singing is honest like that (unless you’re Milli Vanilli).  Perhaps that’s what makes singing so difficult on both an emotional and physical level.

Singing is simple.  You just open your mouth and start.  What comes out is the kicker though because emotionally we shy away from vulnerability and physically we try and avoid looking foolish or untalented.  Again, unless you exclusively lip-sync all your songs, which would be a shame literally and figuratively, it’s always you who’s left on an island.  After you sing that first note, there’s almost literally no turning back.  The music keeps playing and you must keep singing.  Ask anyone who’s chosen badly for their karaoke tune (Mambo #5, OMG!) and they’ll tell you; you just have to tough it out and get through it.  And yet, the poorest, off-key performance brings a sense of accomplishment at its end and if offered in earnest is appreciated by the recipient.

So sing.  Make a joyful noise.  Show the one you love just how much.  Whether you sing literally or your song is in your touch, your love or your deeds, they’ll know and they’ll forgive you if you’re sometimes off-key.  Allow your spirit to break free and offer your heart.  The risk is worth it.  The reward is great.

I hope you’re singing to someone today, whether you utter a note or not.  And if you’re not I hope you’ll have the courage to put forth that first small sound.  I know it’s scary but you can do it.  You owe it to yourself and the object of your song to forge forward.  Good luck!

My blog is collection of a lot of thoughts about life and what it means to be in the middle of it and handling it the best way we can.  Head over to my blog if you want to read more.  Just click here to do that.  If you like what you read I encourage you to subscribe.  You can do that at the blog or by clicking this.  Either way it’s free and means you’ll get an email on Saturdays (nothing more, I promise, no junk) with links to the week’s posts.  I’m glad you’re here.