Two evenings ago, just before dinner time, my husband sang his heart out. It was his version of “Can’t Help Falling In Love With You.”
Then he looked at me with his big, innocent eyes and said, “I know I cannot sing. But I only want to sing for YOU…”
My heart was melting. He’s a genuine romantic, as you can probably tell.
What he said next touched me even more.
“I can’t sing. Right…?” He was apologetic. Yet expecting a truthful answer.
My response? I simply could not bring myself to agree or disagree with him. To agree or disagree is NOT the point during this beautiful moment of him expressing his love.
You see, I was trained for 9 years in playing the piano, and being in tune was a huge thing for me. But over the years of being trained to observe my thoughts, emotions, and behavior, I have come to realize one thing.
That’s this. Beyond what we or people say (or sing in this case!) with the mouth, it’s important to sense the energy behind the words. (Or behind what’s NOT being said.) That is when we can touch the true essence, or real spirit of what is being said. That happens when we are more connected with ourselves, when we are willing to understand the different aspects of ourselves, through and through.
So even if my husband (or anyone else!) is not in tune, so what? My past self would’ve chosen to hammer down on the incorrectness of his scale and told him off.
But my inner self sees things differently. My inner self says, the musical scale that I’m used to is not the only one that is “correct.” Other cultures have their own scale and it can be so beautiful too. And, each person can contribute his own voice, his own unique note to the whole vastness of notes in the entire Universe.
Besides, there was a definite contentment and joy in my soul that I felt just watching him being so happy. Despite my mind and other self thinking it knows what’s in tune, what’s not.
So which self do I listen to? THAT is the real question.
If I’d let my past prim-and-proper self take over, I would’ve gotten irritated, criticized his singing, covered my ears, and grimaced. And KILLED the beautiful moment on the spot.
Not only would I have killed that particular beautiful, loving moment that my husband wanted to share with me 2 days ago, I would’ve killed all potential future beautiful moments in the days, weeks, months, and YEARS to come whenever he spontaneously wants to sing and express his love again.
Thank goodness I was able to tune in to the peace that I felt in my soul watching him sing, instead of focusing on what’s wrong with his singing.
Why am I picking on this small little incident to share with you? Because many times in our lives EVERY DAY, we are presented with such little situations and choices. Many small, ordinary looking times in our lives filled with potential of peace. That can seem so insignificant, they can just slip by before our eyes. Every single day.
If I hadn’t consciously started the habit of being on the active LOOKOUT for peace, contentment, joy, whatever it is we seek, this moment of accepting my husband’s love, could’ve turned into an argument instead.
By no means am I saying I’m great. There’s always more to practice. It’s a lifelong journey. Lives-long, even. But I didn’t just want to TELL you, hey, go towards peace, go towards joy.
I want to SHOW a real life example. A daily, ordinary example. Because when we practice to become more aware of these little opportunities of focusing on what’s already peaceful or content or whatever it is that feels good to our soul, these little opportunities are like seeds that can grow, accumulate, and very soon, you’ll have a huge forest full of mature beautiful trees.
In the beginning, there’s likely to be the noisy, critical aspect of self that may want to judge and say “Nope, this is out of tune. I don’t wanna hear it, I’m gonna march forth and stop the singing once and for all.” It will present itself as such. Yes it certainly will.
But YOU, ME, WE, my dear, can decide to focus on uncovering aspects that already feel good. Like it’s fun watching him so playful and spontaneous. Yes, it’s a deliberate decision to focus. And it will only get easier and easier.
By the way, one more story to this. A prequel, if you will.
Recently, my husband finally revealed to me.
“You know, when you first cooked for me a few years ago, it didn’t have any taste.”
He slowed down, trying to find the right word to describe my cooking back then.
“I mean, it was TASTELESS. But it was still so good. Because I felt all your love in it for me.” I was so touched.
See, the power of choosing to really SEE and sense behind the appearance (or sound, or taste!) of things.