It’s Not About Me

Last weekend was my nephew Peter’s wedding in Reno.
My husband and I drove up and over and stayed at the funky Atlantis Resort. Resort? That’s really stretching the meaning of the word. Hey, it’s a casino with decent rooms and a pretty cool elevator.
My sister-in-law, Peter’s mom, had asked me to sing a song at the rehearsal dinner. No problem! A little acapella tune for an intimate family gathering at her house.
Or so I thought.
We get to the rehearsal dinner and there’s 72 people there, most of whom I didn’t know at all. And I started thinking, "Oh, this will just be stupid if I get up and sing for all these people. It will feel too…odd." And I started talking myself out of the deal.
But my sister-in-law, Ann, whom I adore, was insistent. As I tried to tell her why it would be a bad idea, I could tell it meant a lot to her. So, I agreed. She introduced me, and I stood up on her back deck and sang "At Last" to my nephew and his soon-to-be wife, Ginean. I sang with all my heart.
In the middle of the song, Ginean started crying. Then I saw that Peter was crying! I was so surprised and taken off guard. When I finished, as I hugged them both, it was obvious that the song had touched them deeply, and I was blown out of my self-involved snit of "oh, I don’t know if I should…" and into the truth:
It’s not about me.
Here I was getting all snarly and resistant about singing because I thought the environment wasn’t right, that it would feel odd. To me! But it’s wasn’t about any of that. It was about Peter and Ginean. And Ann and her husband Tersh. I forgot that I was singing for them.
Then my husband told me how Ann and her husband Tersh had been crying, too. And so many people came up to me to tell me how THEY were crying. What I thought would be odd and uncomfortable ended up being a heart-opening moment for a lot of people.
It was such a sweet reminder that all too often we get so wrapped up in our performance being "right," in everything going just so, but that’s not where the juice is. That’s not what it’s all about. It’s about being with the people who are there and giving them what you got in that moment, with all your heart. It’s  about being real and available no matter what the circumstances, no matter what anyone else thinks, OR even what YOU think sometimes.
Thanks, Peter and Ginean, for the reminder. I needed that.