Practice Every Day: How Playing the Cello is Like Healing From Abuse
It does not matter how slowly you go so long as you do not stop.Confucius
Think of the last time you learned something new. Were there moments when you felt overwhelmed? Did you ever want to give up? Someone who works here at The Younique Foundation shared this recently.
I’m 35 years old, and I started taking cello lessons about six months ago. This is totally new territory for me, and I was seriously intimidated at my first lesson. My teacher was demonstrating things for me, and she was so good at everything. The sad, squeaky noises the cello made when I played sounded terrible compared to the beautiful music she was making. I kept thinking, “I will never be able to do this!” There was a big part of me that wanted to give up on the spot, but I kept at it, and I practice for about 20 minutes most days. I’m definitely a beginner—I make lots of mistakes, I’m usually out of tune, I feel like my fingers can’t reach far enough. But I’m slowly making progress.
Sometimes we put too much pressure on ourselves and feel like we need to be perfect at things right away, but this isn’t a helpful way for us to think. Of course, it would be defeating to go to your first cello lesson and say to yourself, “Okay, I need to play like a concert cellist right now.” That’s a goal that simply isn’t possible, and you’ll only get discouraged if you think like that. The reality is that we make progress a little bit at a time by consistently doing small things. You don’t wake up one morning transformed into an amazing musician; you become an amazing musician by practicing a little bit every day.
The same is true when it comes to healing from sexual abuse. You won’t wake up one day completely healed. But there are small things you can do right now to put yourself on a path to healing. Don’t get overwhelmed thinking that you have to do everything at once. Just figure out little things you can do daily.
Here are just three suggestions for things you can do right now:
Don’t let unrealistic expectations for perfection frustrate you. Take things a day at a time, and give yourself credit for the amazing progress you’re making. Just as a beginning cellist is on the journey to make beautiful music, you are on a journey to heal. Every journey takes time, and you’ll inevitably experience some bumps and detours along the way, but have confidence that you’re moving in the right direction and making progress. What simple thing can you do today?
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