As I was listening to a Christian Radio station in Connecticut yesterday I heard a lyric that said, “I don’t look like what I’ve been through.” This particular lyric first made me laugh for the choice of words, and then it made me think. Really think. I started to think about all that I’ve went through over the past 12 years since moving out of New York and I started to realize that I too don’t look like what I’ve been through and I’m glad about it. Some of the things that I’ve gone through have been really good and some have been really bad. I’ll highlight some of the good and bad now:
Good: Graduated College; Moved out on my own; Got Married; Became a Minister; Bought my first new car; Bought my first house; the Birth of My Son; played in 3 jazz festivals in 1 year; played music in 3 different countries; played with some of the musicians that are on my list of musicians that I want to perform with in my lifetime; lived in Germany.
Bad: Became unemployed for the first time in my life and plunged into debt; after climbing out of most of my debt becoming unemployed for a second time and going back into really bad debt; my mother died; my family began to fall apart after the death of my mother who held a lot of us together; almost lost my faith due to a really bad “church” experience; worked for a manipulative person who laid me off causing me to be unemployed for the 3rd time with a young child and mortgage to worry about causing me to go back into more debt; coming near to getting divorced; having a 10 year dream shattered (but not broken which is the important part) as a result of selfish actions of others; losing a chance at dream job due to the selfishness of others; one of my older brothers died very unexpectedly.
I could go on and on about both the good and the bad but I won’t because I think you get the point. The point is that I really don’t look like what I’ve been through and to be honest even if all of the things that I’ve been through were good I wouldn’t want to look like all of those experiences. I believe that the writer of the song that I was listening to wasn’t speaking of a persons physical appearance, I do believe it was speaking of your mental/spiritual appearance as your experiences shouldn’t play into how you physically look (although for some they do) but they should play a part in what you think and how you carry yourselves. I’m glad that, especially in more recent times, that what I’ve been through has not determined what I look or feel like and this is the case because I’ve learned to choose so. This doesn’t mean that I never have any negative things happen to me, but I’ve learned how to work through them and not allow them to run my life.
So do you look like what you’ve been through or are you better because of what you went through?