How/Why Breathing Again?

Do you ever stop to think, “how did I get here?” I’m not talking about the big question of “here in life” – but rather the journey of daily, moment by moment left ands right turns that leads us to some present place in time and space. Have you ever wondered if “this is as good as it gets”, or if “things will ever change”, or if you will “recover” or “overcome”? These are moments in life when it can feel like you are holding your breath – they can be heavy enough that you feel like you can’t breathe…and when you can’t breathe, nothing else matters.

I am an orphan. It was not my choice. I’d prefer to not have this label as part of my identity, but I don’t get to choose that either. It is part of who I am, whether I like it or not. I lost both of my parents young: my father when I was 7 (to permanent mental and physical disability through an accident), and my mother when I was 12 (to heart failure). Resilience has been a subject of keen interest to me for obvious reasons. Much more than a curiosity or area of work – it has been a matter of survival.

Breathing Again – is a musical narrative of my resilience journey.

I had enjoyed music all my life — up until about ten years ago. It was an effective way of working out my thoughts and emotions. Much more than entertainment, music was a prayer language, and a means of communicating things that were difficulty to say. Ten years ago the music in me died – or maybe I tried to kill it. I started to feel as if no one was interested in hearing anything of the turmoil that was welling up inside of me. I felt as if I was an imposter, acting out the expectations of others, with little to no sense of joy. Roots of addictions matured to offer shelter from being present with my insecurities. They worked for a time as a supportive friend – but they eventually became the master. I lost my confidence. I felt that I had nothing of value to offer anyone. I contemplated suicide. Depression set in.  I sold all my gear, took my CD’s to the dump – and paid to leave them there.  I stopped listening to music.


Held my breath and count to ten
But I could never know when
Looked to the sky looked to the sea
For a voice to comfort me

I Couldn’t do it all alone
The road home was unknown
Across the miles of desert sand
Couldn’t change who I am

The rain falls to bring new life
But it can feel like drowning
Couldn’t speak as I began to climb
To the top of the mountain

Now grace – sweet grace
Has me breathing again

The thunder can be violent
But still lost in the silence
When the storm’s disorienting
The wind is tormenting

How did I get to be there? After so many years of confident over-achievement, how did I come to be broke, addicted, and insecure? There is no simple answer, only a complex web of inter-connected events and decisions; things that happened to me, and things I chose — all culminating to become me in a particular moment.

How did grace restore? This is even more difficult to discern, and yet simpler to answer: it just did. Grace works like that – “simple”. We complicate grace, but it remains uncomplicated in its true nature. It accepts us as we are, and calls us to stay at peace while remaining present in the moments. No fear. No anxiety. Just BE-ing. Free to create. To be free to live beyond ME…to add value to life – to all within my circe of influence. Free to stop holding our breath and to start Breathing Again.
I still have questions and doubts…and I can sense fear and anxiety below the surface some days – yet the voice of grace continues to call me to let it go and to live at peace in the midst of uncertainty.  It’s a choice – but its a free one…and it has me Breathing Again.