Whether it be a neighborhood
Within the city where we still reside
Whether it be a town
Where we were raised
Whether it be a state
Where we spent our youth
We have a place where we come from
A place that is our home away from home
That remains a part of us
Woven into the tapestry of our being
Wherever we may roam.
I went to listen to a group of singers/songwriters which inspires the hell out of me and is one of my favorite things to do here in Music City. A twenty something artist from Alabama began to tell the story behind his song. He started off saying: Back where I come from…as he described his negative experience of a town where he simply doesn’t fit in and had to leave but has to go back and visit and does so begrudgingly to appease his mom. He explained that everybody does that and he wanted to do this, everybody thinks like that and he thinks like this, everybody believes that and he believe this, building a case as to how wrong this town is; and concluded with: I guess there’s some good.
The room was silent as he finished speaking so when I burst out laughing, the others in the room looked at me and some laughed along, seeing the humor in what he had said as well as how unconscious we are about our own crap. The artist said over the mic: I’m sorry…Did that sound bad? Then, the room erupted in laughter.
I could relate to the young artist, remembering a time when I had no appreciation only judgment for back where I come from. I didn’t have enough life lived to see the beauty even in the things that didn’t or no longer resonated with me. I couldn’t see that my judgment said more about me than them (back where I come from). I was divisive in seeing the differences between me and them instead of understanding that I have my way of living and viewing the world and others have their way of living and viewing the world. My way isn’t right and theirs isn’t wrong and vice versa. It is simply all of us honoring our needs guided by our individual compasses to navigate a life that feels good, that feels like home wherever we may roam.
The artist had no awareness that he was stereotyping everybody from his home town and judging their choices, marginalizing their lives because he didn’t value what they do or who they are in an attempt to make himself feel superior, more evolved. In truth, his judgment comes from an inability to accept and be comfortable with his own choices. If he were actually grounded in a true sense of Self, acknowledging the magnificence of his own life adventure, having opinions but not needing to impose his way of being onto them; he could acknowledge the magnificence of all life adventures no matter what – no matter how fu%#ed up it may appear. It all starts with us, the relationship we have with our Self.
My hope for him is that one day he has a flash of clarity where he has a higher perspective that helps him recognize that all that he judges is a part of him – not separate as he would like to think. Back where he comes from – is woven into the tapestry of his being. Wherever he roams, he takes it with him whether it is from the charge of judgment and or from the energy of appreciation. Judgment holds us in a grip of self-righteousness whereas acceptance and appreciation frees us.
The invitation this day and this lifetime is to reflect on Back where you come from. Notice where you have a charge of feeling better than them, creating a false sense of Self and feeling inflated in comparison. Tune in to where you have a sense of appreciation and acceptance, feeling the energy of freedom and looking for the beauty even in the challenges and contrasting ways of living. Work toward a sense of peace in letting go, reframing old beliefs, allowing the good to rise from all events and circumstances as a way of honoring your life and all life.