Sunday, November 5, 2017

Music – A Glimpse into The Soul

Music – A Glimpse into The Soul           
Music, since as far back as I can remember, has always held a special place in my heart. From the instrumental without words that simply touch your soul to the lyrics of a song that seem to match the exact mood or state of mind you are in during that season of life. From the songs that got us through teenage heartbreak in our youth, to songs that got us through break ups and relationship troubles as an adult. I always knew that music had the power to influence our mood and the way we saw things but never really stopped to think about what kind of music I was feeding my soul. Looking back on my life I wonder how different the seasons of my life would have been had I simply fed my soul more uplifting music. Would my teenage years have been less painful? Would I have made different relationship choices? Would I have seen how much more I was hurting myself by staying in relationships that left me feeling empty and alone?  What if you could change your life, change your thoughts, and lift yourself up simply by changing what music and lyrics we allow into our hearts? I believe that two of the most powerful things we have as humans are our heart and our mind; for what we think, we become.
When I was a teenager I remember listening to a variety of music. I preferred mostly a lot of classic rock or some of the old records that belonged to relatives that I loved to listen to. I also remember listening to things that my mother would have freaked out if she heard the lyrics like "Erotic City" by Prince.  Looking back, I can't believe I listened to that at 13 and still managed to stay as "innocent" as I was until I finished high school. I think it was more the "taboo" of listening to things you knew you shouldn't that made me curious at the time. After all, Prince had some other amazing music at the time like Purple Rain, and When Doves Cry.  As I got older and reached high school there were the hair bands like Bon Jovi, Poison, and Whitesnake. It seems that everything was about having a good time, love, or broken hearts. I remember couples having their song then later having a break-up song. It was like there was a song for every event of our lives and we could create a "mixed tape" to be our songs that reflected the season of life we were in.  Later as an adult of course it changed from mixed taped to mixed CD's and now you just set up a playlist on your favorite music app. We create soundtracks for working out, road trips, Inspiration, motivation, and of course still for significant others. All of these play lists reflect the season of life we are in at any given moment.
Fast forward well into my adult years and when I look at the kind of music I listened to throughout seasons of my marriage it should have been a big red flag to those around me that things just weren't right at home. You see, even when we are not consciously aware of our thoughts and emotions they are reflected in the kind of music we listen to.  Songs that I felt drawn to listen to were songs like; Fade to Black by Metallica, Numb and In the End by Linkin Park, Snuff by Slipknot, and then near the end of a really bad season, Bring Me to Life by Evanescence.  It was like I was slipping into darkness and that last song was saying "wake up!" It was like a solar flare had been set off and I was desperately wanting to escape the darkness.  It was in that season of my life that I began to realize that something needed to change. My taste in music became a mix of sadness, anger, courage, and inspiration. It was like a roller coaster of emotion. I guess you could say that period of my life was one of my dark nights of the soul. Overwhelmed emotion and feeling lost it wasn’t until a few years after my divorce that I started to find "Me" again.  During that season of life my playlist included songs like; I will Survive by Gloria Gaynor, Unwritten by Natasha Bedingfield, and If Everyone Cared by Nickleback. I was fighting to hang on to get through life one day, one moment at a time. In my times of deepest sorrow one of my favorite songs I remember my grandmother singing would pop into my head, "Amazing Grace how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me. I once was lost, but now am found, was blind but now I see…"  I believe that it was in these times she was reaching out to me telling me to hang in there, it WILL get better.
This brings me to my current season of life, it has been one heck of a ride.  I recently went through my computer browsing through all of the songs have purchased and saved over the years and the various playlists that I have saved.  My current playlists are much more uplifting. I have started connecting with others and making new friends, begun to find my tribe of people who love and accepts me as I am. The song Superheroes by the Script, and Brother by Needtobreathe, are two songs that resonate right now. To me that are about being there for one another, helping each other through the storms of life, and rising up to be that shining light that we were meant to be in the world.  I have been thinking a lot lately about what kind of things I am choosing to input into my life and how they affect what energy I am able to output as a result. As much as I love music and some of those old songs had served a purpose in my life I believe it is time to do some house cleaning and get rid of all of that music that only results in a negative output.
How many of us continue to listen to music that leaves us feeling down and out instead of music that lifts us up? The same could be said for what we watch on television as well, are you stuck watching things like reality tv because you have become addicted to the drama? What example are we setting for our children? How will we inspire them to be positive when all the messages they are seeing and hearing are negative? What will YOU do to change your thoughts? If what we think is what we become are you only listening to and watching positive messages that will lift you up? Or are you listening to and watching things that feed into all of the negativity you are trying to escape in your life?
  So, what are you choosing for yourself? Ask yourself this, " How do I desire to see the world? What can I change in my life to make this a reality? Then one baby step at a time each and every day begin to change your thoughts. This is my challenge for you… For the next 11 days I am challenging you to only feed your soul with positive messages. Listen to music that lifts you up. Watch television shows that warm your heart. Read books that feed your soul. Stay away from negative social media even if that means unfollowing people so you are not affected by their negative output. Post and share only positive messages that come from a place of love. Try and write in a journal your experiences and challenges to stick with it. If it is difficult and you catch yourself returning to the habit of the negative input simply think of it as a detour and work to get yourself back on track again. Write how it makes you feel when you only have a positive input and how it makes you feel if/when you slip and have negative input.  Acknowledge and honor your emotions because denial never gets us anywhere but bringing a suppressed emotion into the light is the first step towards healing. Acknowledge the season of life that at one time it got you through, then let it go for it no longer serves your highest good. Please try this for 11 days then on the 11th day look back and see where your thoughts and behaviors have shifted. If you like what has changed I urge you to consider continuing it and seeing how only allowing the positive input changes your life and the way you see the world. How do you think your life will change if you were to focus on the positive things in life? Isn't it worth trying for at least 11 days to see what shifts? You have nothing to lose and so much to gain! It is time for us to let go of the old to make way for something amazing to manifest into our lives.