The meaning behind "Good Enough"
The hardest conversations are often the most necessary to have. Perhaps it's our hesitancy to endure pain, or discover something we weren't prepared to hear or acknowledge that causes us to ignore the obvious; however, as hard as it may be at times, in order to grow, these conversations are a vital component to our hearts development! I have felt the nudges of the Lord lately asking me to share the meaning behind why I wrote "Good Enough". While recounting some of these experiences and putting them down on paper, I found myself growing tired and emotionally exhausted just at the mere thought of the past. Alas, I feel these words need to be released to the world! Freedom never felt so good (and scary)!
I moved to Nashville when I turned fifteen! No, really... I literally moved on my birthday to Nashville, October 24th to be exact. (the best birthday present I have received to date. thx mom & dad!) I had many dreams and aspirations and prayed to achieve them daily! Upon entering the Nashville music scene, God quickly granted many of them surprisingly sooner then I imagined! Just when I had turned sixteen God opened the door to a program with my pro, ASCAP. (performing rights organization) This program is called the GPS project; a quick, non-detailed summarization of this twelve-month program is this: meet publishers, write with their writers, and if all goes well, get signed. It was created as a stepping stone for the independent writer who just needs a helping hand. Naturally, being told that I was now apart of this program, and the youngest ever to be chosen, I was STOKED. Some might even say, HYPE, THRILLED, READY TO SLAY MUSIC ROW. I digress... I was very happy. The meetings that transpired after being accepted literally changed my life. I was sitting in rooms with Lisa and Doug Johnson (Black River & Razor and Tie) Dale BoBo (Big Deal Music) meeting with Warner, Universal, Big Yellow Dog, Sony, Carnival and more! I wrote with amazing writers and truly honed my craft! I constantly called myself the human sponge- absorbing all of the wisdom and knowledge that was being thrown my way as much as I could! (:
However, even though I was receiving wisdom from reputable sources, I also began to absorb the negativity that also consumed me in these meetings. I was always so loved, so doted on by publishers. They would put me in rooms with their writers, said they would fly me to New York to meet with their label heads, and met with me regularly to hear the new songs I had written. I remember Sony ATV saying this to me, "You are going to get signed... but we won't sign you." That being the first meeting of twelve, I felt a little piece of my heart shrivel up and cry. I wondered, "Will this be how all of the publishers respond to my music?" Fortunately, no, those words were never uttered out of any other publishers I met with after, yet that statement rang in my ears like a pounding drum over and over. After meeting with everyone, feeling so confident that God was preparing my heart for the next stages of my publishing career, I left the program empty-handed. I suppose I felt my good was never enough for music row. Otherwise, maybe things would be different?
On a deeper level, my experience with The Voice contributed to my feelings of insignificance. I felt the Lord yet again pressing me to just say yes to the third invitation they offered me. I did, I flew to LAX, made it, and was cut two weeks later. Many close people in my musical life always encouraged to be better, and strive for more; but looking back at it now, I feel much of those comments like "you can do better" began to instill the fear of trying because nothing was ever 100% there. I had yet to arrive! And maybe If I just kept writing, perhaps one day I would discover the song, encounter the label, and achieve my big dreams.
I can even remember feeling so lousy in private school when all the girls had fancy shoes and accessories they wore with their uniforms, isn't that ridiculous? I was always trying to compete with what I thought was desirable. There was an emptiness inside of me I longed to fill with validation from friends, mentors, and people with power. Just Carmen in her essence wasn't enough. My value was solely dependent upon the approval, opinion, and perceptions others had of me. It was a sad, lonely time in my life.
After losing my voice, and enduring a year of silence, Jesus wrapped me in His loving arms and showed me what true self-love is like. He had to eliminate the very thing that defined me in order to sanctify it. This is where change began to develop in my life.
I learned that my music is not mine. It is His. The reason He gave me the gift of writing and singing, is to glorify His precious name! That realization in itself opened my eyes to the reality that it was okay that not everyone liked me, or wanted to sign me, or preferred my music. My worth was no longer placed in the hands of people but in the hands of my creator! My realignment with Christ refocused my priorities and what I deemed to be "Good Enough". I feel Matthew 5, summarizes the change that took place in my heart:
“You’re blessed when you’re at the end of your rope. With less of you there is more of God and his rule. You’re blessed when you feel you’ve lost what is most dear to you. Only then can you be embraced by the One most dear to you. You’re blessed when you’re content with just who you are—no more, no less. That’s the moment you find yourselves proud owners of everything that can’t be bought. You’re blessed when you’ve worked up a good appetite for God. He’s food and drink in the best meal you’ll ever eat. You’re blessed when you care. At the moment of being ‘care-full,’ you find yourselves cared for. You’re blessed when you get your inside world—your mind and heart—put right. Then you can see God in the outside world."
Oh goodness.... the B-attitudes make me weep with joy and exuberance at the grandeur of Gods love! Healing is possible friends! Never forget that.
At the end of my sophomore year in college, I had the pleasure of encountering a girl named Gabi. She was assigned to interview me for the school magazine, and not surprisingly, the interview tables were quickly turned. I found myself intrigued by Gabi when she began sharing her testimony. After hearing all that had transpired in her life, I truly was baffled. Her love for Christ was forged through the deepest pain and suffering. She was adopted as a child and continually felt she was never good enough for people to stay. I remember her saying to me in the interview, "I cannot wait to enter heavens gates, so that I can meet my true Father" and YALL, at that point I was a blubbering mess. This conversation ultimately encouraged me to sit down with my co-writer Jake and acknowledge my own issues with feeling futile. I wanted to share a video of a casual conversation I had with Gabi in my room, chilling on my bed, next to my cactus who is more famous then I am, in which we have an awesome open dialogue about the subject of worth and what that means to us now. I hope it helps you or perhaps is just some encouragement for your day (:
Thank you so much for reading as always,
You are more then good enough,