Your Gateway to Music and More from a Christian Perspective
Slow down as you approach the gate, and have your change ready....
the Rock Doc
By Dr. Bruce L. Thiessen, aka Dr BLT, psychologist
* Details contained in the original correspondence, or inquiry have been omitted or otherwise altered to protect the confidentiality of the inquiring party and to make key spiritual/psychological points.
Dear Rock Doc:
I donít need a shrink, but, as a devote Christian, I could use some scriptural guidance from the musical MTV personality my friends and I admire the most after watching our favorite music video on YouTube. That would be you J
Iím Casey Smith. Iím 25 years of age. I donít have any psychological problems, but I am a musician in distress. Iím all stressed out because, as the lead singer of a gradually rising rock band, Casey the Catastrofix, (supported, so far, by my wife, Elizabeth), I can no longer pay the bills. Liz and I donít have any kids yet, so that helps, but we are in danger of losing our home if Iím not able to go out there and get a good-paying job.
Hereís the deal, BLT: My wifeís hours were cut back. She was working full time, but theyíve been laying people off, and cutting back hours of full-time employees. Sheís got 5 years seniority so at this point, her job is not in jeopardy, but now I have to cancel the tour I had planned with the band. Iím been putting in lots of applications, but getting no results.
So Iím not on drugs, not a bipolar borderline boy, and Iím not suicidal. Iím just really, really stressed out. Iíve been blessed with a great, supportive wife, good friends and close family members.
Casey, the Catastrofix Christmas Kid
Dear Casey, the The Catastrofix Christmas Kid:
Iím sorry to hear about your financial burden, your high stress level, and the forced cancellation of your tour with The Catastrofix.
There was a famous psychologist named Maslow that developed a theory suggesting that individuals consumed with safety, security, and health-related issues rarely spend much time pondering their state of mental health. They seem to be too busy gathering food and other essentials required for basic survival, to concern themselves much with self-actualization or self-esteem.
I disagree somewhat. In spite of the womanís movement, and the ever-changing, once-traditional male/female roles, the prospect of not being able to support oneís immediate family has a huge impact on a manís self-esteem, for example. In fact, the frustration associated with not being able to pursue ideals like self-actualization, due to the imminent threat of losing oneís home, or suffering a series of financial blows, fuels the development and maintenance of high levels of stress and anxiety.
Since you are a musician, and you need to keep some things in your life constant, I would suggest that you work the music in wherever you can. Music may not pay the bills right now, but it will offer some hard-earned play. Iím sure youíre aware of the other benefits of music: stress relief; communication of needs to others, self-esteem enhancement (the kind that comes with skill-building); and a creative avenue in which to vent and openly express difficult emotions. In short, donít completely give up your night job.
Now letís talk about worry. It will not make things work. It will make things worse. We worry because we think it gives us control, when it fact it loosens our grip on troubling circumstances and causes us to further lose control.
Worry is not easy to shake. And Iím a believer in the Bible as a remedy for almost everything. However, though throwing Bible verses at you like Bible bullets is the technique many run to, it is one I tend to avoid.
That being said, Jesus said that when weíre tempted to worry about the future, it behooves us to turn to nature. He pointed out to his worried disciples that the lilies of the field never toil or worry, yet they thrive.
The comfort of the lilies
Trusting is difficult, but when we reflect back on all of the situations in the past that were extremely trying and taxing, and note Godís faithfulness in guiding us through those storms, we can find the comfort of the lilies.
You must, and I believe you increasingly will, turn to the Lord of the Lilies, just as you turn to your dear wife, as well as the friends, and supportive family members he has placed in your life.
Now, for the prize at the bottom of the Cracker Jacks box. If you like any of these songs, and find them therapeutic in any way, please email me and request free mp3 copies. Otherwise, see if there are others you can relate to from my Ice and Snow CD:
Billy Wants a Job 4 Christmas
Children of December
I hope you find a job, and I hope you and yours have a very Merry Christmas!