On the outside, things are all pretty much the same as they were five years ago. My wife and I will have been married for thirteen years this July, and we have lived in this house for ten years. Our daughter is six. My main income is from music since 1998, which is sixteen years ago now. Wow.
But boy did I go through a dark time. I’m talking about a darkness with not a spec of light anywhere. All I had to go on was to tell myself that, “One day you’ll see that little spec again.”
But honestly, I wasn’t sure.
You see, it just wasn’t enough. I had wanted to make a living playing music and to spend my life doing what I loved, and that had certainly happened. But I found myself without health insurance, not able to go on vacations, sometimes having to borrow money to pay my electric bill, and basically just barely scrapping by in life all the time.
To make matters worse, the ultimate trouble was that I had played so many gigs for so long, that I had lost my “spark”. There was no more enthusiasm, no more dreams of having someone famous record one of my songs, or getting famous myself. I knocked on the door long enough and loudly enough to figure out that nobody was going to open it.
I lost my purpose in life. Everything that I thought was going to happen, didn’t. I wanted more, and I didn’t feel bad about wanting more, and I still don’t. I want to enjoy life, go on vacations, be able to go to the doctor, and things like that.
But I stayed true to my truth. “I am music!” I gritted my teeth and just kept going, but at some point a thought came to me out of the blue, “I’m playing music in the wrong place.” But where else could I play? I’ve been a street musician, I’ve played in children’s hospitals, old folks homes, if you can name it, I’ve played it. So what was I to do?
I had been meditating and reading lots of spiritual books, and my wife had started taking our daughter to Life Bridge church. I refused, and still refuse to go to a church that tells you about the “great Heaven in the sky” after you die, if you are good. But she and several other people approached me about what they called “Blue Jean” church’s. I would go to their web sites, and quickly be turned off. You can wear jeans, but their idea of God does not gel with mine.
One day I was talking with a friend of mine about the situation, and he said, “You should try Unity!” So I went home and looked it up on the internet. Much to my amazement, this was what I’d been looking for! I told my wife Heather, “Looking at their web site, I cannot find any reason not to go.”
It was a huge ordeal for me. My spiritual advisor said that I could sit near the back and that I could leave at any time, and so I sat in the back. But I didn’t leave. This was a group of spiritual people just as I’d been looking for. My wife was disappointed that the church and the children’s program was much smaller than Life Bridge church, but not disappointed enough to go back there. She was intrigued by Unity and has come to really like it.
A few weeks went by and one night I was playing a gig at some dive bar on River Street, when in walks the associate minister and music director from our new found church.
Do I have to tell you what happened next?
I sat in with the band one Sunday, and we played a song called “Faith and Grace” by the Blind Boys of Alabama, and we got a standing ovation. Suddenly I saw the tiniest spec of light. It was coming from the last place on earth that I would have ever expected it to come from.
It has been four years since Heather and I went to Unity for the first time. I have played music, given meditation workshops, and even given the message at Unity church’s all over the southeast. I am involved with the church, and play music there at least once a month. Lately I’ve been slowly getting my get wet as music director. In May I will begin taking classes, and the process of becoming a Licensed Unity Teacher. This may take a while, depending on how fast the Universe wants to go. Then my plan will be to apply to become a minister by working in the field.
And no it isn’t happening fast enough. But man is it ever happening. I know what I want, what my intentions are, and which way to go. Still my income is mostly from playing music, but now I do my church work too. I also make artwork and have my art work in a couple of galleries. I also see clients for energy work and spiritual counseling. I am also working diligently on my first book.
Just sitting and reflecting on things tonight, it just came to me that I survived that dark time. I can’t tell you how much it has changed me on the inside for the better. I am no longer so judgmental as I used to be, I have found answers to all of my questions about life, and I am a very different person now than I was before all this.
I survived the dark time and am much better for it. Have you survived dark times and were you better for it?