One of my dearest friends is a highly accomplished pianist. She and I share a deep love of music. We often send each other links to pieces that we expect will incite tears. We are not sadists- I promise.
Anyway, she told me to go see The Greatest Showman, and I think I actually scoffed. I saw the preview and thought: 1) this movie looks bad; 2) as much as I love music, I am deeply skeptical of musicals-as-movies; and 3) wait what? This is about the circus? The circus creeps me out!
She sent me a link to one of the songs (This is Me- sung by Keala Settle), and I was HOOKED. Cried by note 10, maybe? All of the songs are originals. And- I kid you not- each one is spectacular.
But Ross took the kids (my amazing daughters share my love of music, thankfully) last weekend when I was in NY, and I thought “oh well…”
I’m working on my relationship with my older daughter. It’s actually a project for me- it’s a place in my life where I have identified a gap. My intention is to create a stronger, closer bond with her. I shared my goal with her, which was an interesting experience in and of itself, simply for what it provided in terms of creating closeness between us. The first milestone was yesterday, and we were to spend several hours together- just the two of us.
As the day approached, I asked Alex what she might want to do. My intention was to enroll her in this relationship project. I wanted her buy in. A few days ago, she said: “Hey- let’s see the Greatest Showman.” I said sure but wanted to make sure she was ok with seeing it again. She assured me she was and then said: “Mom- you’re going to love it.”
The time we spent together yesterday meant so much to me. Before the movie, we talked- we really talked. She shared her life with me in ways she doesn’t often share. And then we saw this movie together and connected in our shared passion for music. Each time I cried (this happened many times), I saw her out of the corner of my eye kind of smiling at me, understanding the emotion I was experiencing.
1) If you like music, go see this movie. Yes, P.T. Barnum was a complex human. Was his “greatest show on earth” gross exploitation? Was it, in the words of the joyless critic, a “celebration of humanity?” Was it both? I don’t know. I really don’t. But the music is exquisite.
2) I need to watch the Voice, because Loren Allred (singing Never Enough in the linked YouTube video) has this soaring gift of a singing voice.
3) I am so grateful for music and for the composers and musicians who share their talents and gifts.
4) This is the big one. Yesterday had everything to do with my relationship project with my child. And as I created this project, skepticism and fear creeped into my mind- things like “well it takes two to tango” and “how can I single-handedly shift a relationship involving two people???
But what I learned is that I DO have the power to create what I want to create with her. When I DECIDED (yes- it was a choice) to relate to her from my essence (it’s coachspeak, but many of you know what I’m talking about since you had a part in helping me discover my essence of brilliance; humor; empathy; authenticity and magnetism) a whole new space opened up for both of us. I was the mother I want to be, and I saw her for the amazing human being she is. As a consequence, she shared with me in new ways and was more open to connecting with me than ever before.
5) Find out what moves you and do that thing or have that experience. Better yet? Bring along someone you love who shares that passion.