“C” for “Coping” or “Calming” or “Cheering” or even “Crying,” if that’s what you’re most in need of.
Music is so many things to me, for me, about me. I hear music and I hear a story about someone’s best day, or their worst day, or their douche of an ex-boyfriend or cheating ex girlfriend. I hear the joy at seeing their baby for the first time, or the bittersweet reminiscing of a dad about to walk his baby girl down the aisle. I hear the pain of losing something or someone you thought was your life. I hear the happiness and wonder of first love and new love and old love and jungle love and…okay, that’s enough, I’m sure you get the love about the love.
I hear these stories and my ears transmit them to my heart, so I don’t just hear the stories, I feel them. The music wraps me in a moment and transports me, and I’m there, feeling each of those feelings, and they become mine. I’m taken somewhere outside myself that’s deep within me. I know, it sounds like new-age BS “somewhere outside that’s within,” but it’s true and that’s the best way I can describe it.
I know, I’m waxing poetic, I can’t help it 🙂 Anyway, I had a “DUH” moment the other day when I happened across this wonderful post by my new WP pal J.E. Skye. See, music has always been a staple in my life but I never appreciated it more than when I realized that it is, for me, the best kind of therapy. J’s post reminded me that I’m not the only one who does and can benefit from music.
For me, any situation involving crowds kicks my anxiety into high gear and, in this area, my anxiety typically manifests itself as extreme agitation and a feeling akin to claustrophobia — too many people, store aisles that feel too narrow, exits that seem so far away, etc. This is why if you ever see me in public – whether I’m shopping, working out, going to the bank, checking the mail, whatever – 9.99 times out of 10, I’ve got my headphones on.
It’s like I get to set the music for the world when I have my earphones on and therefore, the world outside is not too much. I think it probably has something to do with my control freak issues, haha, but I accept that because it’s what allows me to continue (hey! another “C”) living my life while I’m working on my overall balance.
In this world where there is so much…ugliness and waste and hate, music reminds me and my issues that with the bad, there is so much more good. So, so much more. So the next time you think you’ve had it and you just can’t win and why is the world so (fill in the blank, but in this case, it’s probably a negative thing), and you just want to give up because you feel like you can’t win, or you feel your anxiety bubbling at the brink of eruption, and/or uncomfortable in any way, go find your favorite song, put on some headphones (or put it on the radio or in the car, up to you), and put that song on repeat. I’m sure you’ll feel better, lighter, and like you’ve got another round in you after a few loops.
May I make a suggestion? Like J did and I’ve done, round up a playlist of songs that make YOU feel good, make you smile, lift your spirits, and try pressing play on that awesome list the next time you’re feeling uneasy or in any way “not right.”
Okay, I know this is getting way long, but I want to share a beautiful quote that I think is perfect for this topic. The irreplaceable and immortal Maya Angelou says “A bird doesn’t sing because it has an answer. It sings because it has a song.”
My interpre-rambling is: Don’t get down on yourself or your life or the world, just because you don’t have the answer to every question that pops in your head. Really, that just means you don’t know how to Google. Message me, I’ll give you some pointers. Just kidding! I mean, I’ll happily give you pointers, no joke there. Just joking about being able to answer ALL of life’s questions via Google. Most questions – yes. ALL questions – inconceivable. There’s only one G that can do that and it’s not Google.
Oh wait, wait, one more thing (promise this is it!)! One of my favorite people that I’ve never met, Rabbi Brian, wrote a book that I read (and highly recommend for anyone searching within for their spirituality’s sake), called My Fun Theology Workbook. There are so many parts that I highlighted, where I laughed, cried, and connected with. But one particular part, in the beginning, as RB is encouraging you to find your spiritual voice, he quotes a line from Psalms as a way of explaining what your spiritual voice is and how its development can assist you. He says, “I want you to develop your spiritual-religious voice so that you can – in the words of the Psalms – ‘sing a new song to God.'”
That really touched me because, to me, singing a new song to God means finding joy in life and sharing it. I’ve realized that’s part of my life’s purpose: find joy and share it. It’s not always easy, but it’s always worth it. Just like you are!