Today I want to share a story of hope with you.
A story of returning to something you love that you have not been able to do and have deeply missed; a story to remind you the power of love.
I love live music.
I love live performance.
I love being in the audience and dancing along, clapping my hands, or just screaming like a crazy teenager all the lyrics in the grand cacophony of collective crowds.
At the tender age of 14, I went to see my first live concert and was up on my feet in adolescent rapture watching Richard Marx sing passionately into his microphone. I sang along, professing my love to him and convinced he could hear me and see me. Walking home with a new wall poster, I was hooked.
Through my whole adult life, I would feel the rush and joy of live music across many genres and whether it was a concert hall or bar, the vibrations coming through the speakers felt incredible.
They felt like love.
Until they didn’t anymore.
In December of 2018, I felt very strange. I was experiencing a sensitivity to sound and light for the first time in my life, and with it a new type of fatigue. One of my favorite local bands, Remember Jones, was going to be giving a concert in Red Bank, at the very theater my new husband had proposed to me in. I stayed home, and he went alone. This was a first for me.
In January of 2019, my husband and I enjoyed the Underground Asbury Music Festival and I loved hearing the new voices and taking in bands and solo singers all over town. I felt great. Perhaps what happened in December was just a one time thing.
But then the sensitivities increased and by the summer of 2019, I was having consistent migraines. I had tickets to see Dave Matthews Band at the Sea Hear Now Festival in September at Asbury Park and had to sell the tickets. This was painful because of how much I love Dave Matthews and I hadn’t seen them in years.
Two months later in November, we flew to Las Vegas to see Lady Gaga in her jaw dropping jazz show at the MGM Grand. We had bought the tickets way earlier in the year when I thought the headaches were just a passing thing but now was having them every day. I wore sunglasses and earplugs to see the concert and was so grateful to be there, but had migraines the day before and the day after. The concert took a lot out of me as did the travel.
And then in January of 2020, I was diagnosed with mold and environmental toxicity and began a very long journey of detox and recovery.
I stopped going to any live performance.
2020 came and went.
2021 came and went.
And a part of me ached for the joy, and the simple feeling of elation that had coursed through my body every time I was at a concert. I honestly wondered if I would ever be able to enjoy live music again.
I missed my love.
I felt heartbroken.
As I watched the world reopen and bands go back on the road, I wanted so much to be there, but it felt like a “should”. And it felt like my head talking. It felt like my ego putting a clock in front of my face, saying
You should be better by now!
Why is this taking so long?
Everyone else is doing it, so you should too!
And because it felt like a “should”, I didn’t go. Listening to live music didn’t feel like love. So all my energy went into healing.
And then two weeks ago, I got a Facebook notification from Remember Jones they were giving a free concert in Asbury Park. And without thinking, my hands opened up my calendar and wrote down the time.
My head started saying, “what are you doing?? Why are you scheduling this?”
But my body was saying YES. Something was taking over and I shared my desire with my husband with the caveat that I would check in with myself on the day. There would be no pressure.
On that Saturday, my body was very excited to go. My head was freaking out. When we got to the street where they were playing, a large crowd had gathered and everyone was waiting for them to begin. I stood in the street and my head was saying,
What are you doing??
This could cause a headache!
You won’t be able to handle this…
I turned to my husband and said, “my head is freaking out. I know this doesn’t make sense, but my body is saying to stay and I trust that.”
Then the music began, and I felt this energy starting to grow within my body. It pulsed and vibrated and expanded and as it rose up towards my throat, a miracle happened…I smiled. Then my whole body started to move…and then I was dancing.
Like I had years ago, like I had at all the other concerts I went to.
I lasted 45 minutes, and as we walked away from the crowd, I covered my mouth and wept.
I stopped walking and just let the emotion take me over in the afternoon sun.
I wept for my heartbreak. I wept for all the moments I missed music. I wept for all the times I felt so discouraged. And then I wept for the miracle of being able to listen again.
I wept to feel love again, and my tears flowed freely because I now knew it had never left.
Love was in me all along.
And in fact, it was love that had me take a break from live music. And in this time of healing, I have come to create a stronger trust in what love actually FEELS like.
It’s the YES of my body.
It doesn’t make any “sense” to my head.
It’s the mystery of time.
And it’s the nurturing guide on what will be best for me.
Over these last two and a half years, so much has been taken away. It can be easy to disconnect and forget what love feels like.
But it lies in you, no matter what, no matter how devastated you have felt.
This is the power of love.
A sweet music that moves your whole being, and reminds you of your wholeness, and what you can trust.
The sweet melody of your return.
May this inspire you.