I discovered something about myself recently that has had a profoundly disempowering impact on my life since I was a child.
Here’s how it happened
On the morning of Monday, April 14, my phone service got cut off. I had waited too long to make a required payment. Such is my financial life – an endless cycle of taking things to the edge and scraping by. It seems I only take actions that produce financial results when something truly urgent, like this or having an eviction notice slid under the door (yes, been there too), happens.
I used to be proud of this frantic money causing – I’d say “See what I can do when the cards are down”. But in this reincarnation of the cycle, I had the presence of mind to see what it really was – an ever repeating part of the same cycle and that I had to consider it was not powerful at all.
On Monday morning, I had the presence of mind to simply stop.
I stopped the action and allowed myself to be with the upset. Underneath the urge for frantic action was a deep and heavy lethargy. For a day and a half I sat with not wanting to do anything. I vacillated between sad and tearful and numb. I got coaching and didn’t want to do anything I was told to do.
Then I got more coaching the following day at 3 pm.
In that conversation (on Skype) I distinguished for myself the foundational source of much of my disempowerment in life. We finished the call in laughter – I told the coach, I was hoping for something a little more profound, but there you go.
This is what happened
I was probably 4 or 5 years old when one night my grandmother came into my bedroom. I had wet my bed. I can see the open door with the light from the hall streaming in and silhouetting her and I remember the look on her face – the pinched mouth and nose, the frowning eyes. While I don’t remember her exact words, I remember the deep disapproval and disappointment and the communication that I must not wet my bed. I’m not supposed to do that.
Then I decided something
Then I decided something about myself that has been invisibly ruling my life ever since.
- I decided that there was something wrong with me and that I was helpless to do anything about it.
- I decided that I was “supposed” to be able to do something about it but couldn’t.
- I decided that no one must find out.
This did not go well. Imagine how sleep overs, overnight school outings, and hotel visits went. I dreaded them, because people would find out.
I wet my bed right up until I was nearly 15. There were many attempts to fix the problem, including visiting Dr Ping to consider an operation and, when I was younger, late night wake ups to be taken to the bathroom. I remember literally falling asleep against the wall in the hallway and bathroom as I was guided to the toilet to take a pee and avoid the bed wetting disaster – nothing ever worked.
How it has impacted my life
Even though I no longer wet my bed, I live my life like I am still always “going” to wet my bed. It’s important to get, until now, this has been invisible to me.
My whole hidden unconscious agenda in life is hiding that I wet my bed. At the same time it’s pointless because it will ultimately be discovered. Everyone will find out eventually. Grandma will come in and admonish me.
The biggest and most profound impact is I am powerless to say how anything will go. I can say it will go this or that way a million times, but underneath I know I will still wet my bed. I know it will not work out. I know I have no say in the matter.
What it looks like
I’m starting to see the impact all over the place in the smallest things to the biggest things. Self doubt arises so easily. I avoid deciding on or choosing even simple things. I just don’t want to commit to anything because I know I will fail.
There can be no chinks in the armour. Any weakness is a window to discovery of how damaged and wrong I am. Nothing can be wrong or people will find out. It is why I have been so thin skinned about criticism and why I must appear to know everything. It is why I don’t like hanging out in groups for too long. It is likely why I have never been willing to truly give my heart to a partner in life – a bed wetter is not interested in sharing a bed.
As I laughingly said to my coach – I see why I always stay up late at night – I stay up until I simply can’t keep my eyes open, even when I know I need to get up in less than 5 hours. When I go to sleep “trouble” will surely follow.
Discovering all this is paradoxically profound and hilarious
Who would of thought some stinky liquid on a mattress has been ruling my life. It’s nothing really. It’s all a grand and silly joke. Yet, it’s also been everything. Look at what I’ve made it mean about myself.
What’s possible now
What’s possible for me now is that anything IS possible. I do have say in the matters I care about in life. I am creating myself as a person in the world who is boundlessly creative, expressive and an enormous contribution. I get to move beyond the barrier of me, the bed wetter, and create a world for all that is boundlessly creative, expressive and full of enormous contribution.
Standing here right now I REALLY can say how it will go. I know we can have hundreds of people attending Quiet Hearts concerts. I know I can make a difference for up to 40 people each month when they come and lie under my piano. Every week, clients and listeners go out of their way to share how the music I create touches their hearts and makes a difference for them in deep and meaningful ways. I’m done with providing this for 10’s when it can be 1,000’s. I’m done with keeping myself small with pointless and ultimately trivial financial problems. That’s not what I’m here for. It’s time to be big and make a difference on a much larger scale.
I am not saying it will be easy. I am saying it’s possible.
My inspiration out of this discovery is to live a life being vulnerable, bold and tenacious. There is freedom in being vulnerable – in sharing this. I’m shouting to the world that I was a bed wetter. You all know now and I’m still alive and well. The sky has not fallen.
My mission and vision
My big dreams and aspirations are simple and powerful. I know they are powerful, because I already get to see the difference my music makes for people. My musical offerings have made a difference for mothers who have lost babies, people grieving the loss of loved ones, people looking for relief from daily pressures and stress, artists seeking inspiration, couples celebrating and honouring their relationship, and people who simply want to get out of the state of over-thinking and analyzing everything. I am creating beautiful music in the world that provides nurture, solace and a haven from pressures and difficulties in life. It provides an access to “be” with issues and resolve issues. It also provides the space for personal creativity to emerge and flourish.
Are you in?
If anything about this inspires you and you see what’s possible for yourself and others out of playing a bigger game in life, then now is a good time to act. Make a difference for yourself or someone in your life. If my dream and vision for music making a difference for people inspires you, support and contribute to me.
I have some big games. Accomplishing them would see the end of financial struggle and create huge opportunities to expand the difference my music makes to a whole new level.
Short term goals – by December 31, 2014
- 700 people are attending our Quiet Hearts Concerts each week.
- 1000 Facebook fans for our Quiet Hearts page by June 30, 2014.
- 30 to 40 people lying Under the Piano each month.
- 1000 Facebook fans for my Under the Piano page by June 30, 2014.
- Increase CD and digital downloads of my music by 500%
- Release our first Quiet hearts album.
Bigger 5 year game
- Under the Piano and Quiet Hearts goes international
- I want to take this beyond the confines of Vancouver and provide this gift to people in cities like New York, Paris and Tokyo
- I am now traveling for annual concert and music workshop tours
- I have 60,000 Facebook fans for each page
- I can’t keep track of music download sales and CD purchases anymore – there are so many.
How you can give support
Giving the gift of my offerings to yourself or a music loving friend or family member is the best way to support me in forwarding my dreams.
To assist in having that come alive in the world today:
- Come to a Quiet Hearts concert – http://www.amicusmusicduo.com
- Book an Under the Piano session for yourself at http://www.UnderThePiano.ca (go to services & products)
- Give a gift certificate for Under the Piano at http://www.UnderThePiano.ca (go to services & products)
- Purchase and/or download one of my CDs. http://www.cdbaby.com/Artist/CraigAddy
In addition to the above or if you can’t provide support financially at this time but you are inspired by music and what I am creating, become a fan by “liking” my pages, signing up for my newsletter, and sharing my music. Please only do this because you are truly inspired. I want fans and email subscribers who are genuinely moved by my music and vision. I don’t need you to be “nice” to me. Every ‘like’ gets me one step closer to 1000 fans by the end of June, 2014.
- Like our Quiet Hearts page at https://www.facebook.com/AmicusMusicDuo
- Like my Under the Piano page at https://www.facebook.com/UnderThePiano
- Sign up for my newsletter at http://craigaddy.com/ – every page has an Email Sign-up form
- Use the share links on my Reverbnation music pages to share my music http://www.reverbnation.com/craigaddy & http://www.reverbnation.com/quiethearts
- Share music and events I post on Facebook and Social Media whenever you see them
- Connect me with someone who can help spread the word about my music and what it provides in the world.