Thursday, September 19, 2013

When Words Pack a Punch, There are songs that heal

(scroll down to go right to the songs...)

I have always had a bone to pick with the saying, "Sticks and stones may break our bones but names will never hurt us," and one of my other un-favorites, the ever present "Actions speak louder than words"...

What a bunch of malarky, words can hurt, they cut deep and they can damage us forever. 

Words have power. They can mortally wound us and push us to the edge, they have the ability to color our perception of the world and the people around us.

They can cause wars, destruction and create a domino effect on the greater good of human kind. It is especially prominent after someone in the public eye makes an uncaring and unthoughtful comment that has overreaching effects on people. More than we can understand as individuals.

Consider the damage caused when an NFL player on the Eagles team uses a racial slur at a Kenny Chesney concert  over the summer. That comment, spewed out in hate continued it's momentum in the press and proceeded to get in the way of the positive team building that could have been forged instead during that team's pre-season training. It ended up causing further tussles with angered players. It was understandably hard for several of the players to let it go easily. More than that, it was released to the press and we don't know the effect that it had on the public. 

Sometimes people are singled out and attacked in a group dynamic, for instance, bullying.

Now consider a young child, also in the news recently, who took her own life after suffering the biting words of other children online. This child, only 12 years of age, a baby, reacted to her pain by ending it all.

This one especially breaks my heart for the horrendous loss we as a society have been facing over and over again by allowing bullying to continue. There are hoards of people who allow their kids to injure and ridicule others, sometimes even adults. 

Please parent your children. You are their source for learning. Teach them how to treat others. Model for your children. They are looking to you to guide them. Be involved, discipline them if you witness or hear of them hurting others.

Now we have the bigger problem of cyber-bullying to contend with. This is something that we need to address as a society. We have to understand the effect that technology has in shaping our young people. It stunts the building and growth of healthy morals. It's not just the mother who should be mourning the loss of this child. We all should as well–she is the child of all of us.

This is a great article if you would like to read more about facing new technology with our children in mind.

Everyone has been hurt by someone's words every now and again. If you are getting up there in age, I am sure by now you are getting the hang of brushing yourself off, or maybe snide or misdirected comments just run right off you like pond water off a duck's oily feathers.

There are some of us, though who need a little bit of extra help. We are the ultra sensitive souls.

I am most definitely one of those people. I gravitate toward all things touchy-feely, I want to understand people, I want to understand emotions and what makes us tick. I am fascinated by why someone would ever say something hurtful toward another human being. I have been horrified when in the past I have launched out hurtful words in self-defence. These are the topics that haunt my days and nights.

From a young age, I was a cryer...yup... just cried and cried over the smallest most minute things...and I annoyed a heck of a lot of people.

If things were going the wrong way, even right up until college age, when I couldn't cope with something, that emotion would break through the dam I had built to stop it, and it would well up within me, leaving me at a loss for keeping it away.

Now, I feel a better person for having experienced that overwhelming emotional tide, (which still exists from time to time) because I know it like the back of my hand. I am practically an expert at feeling. I know the taste and smell and texture, I know how to hold it just so and keep it at arms length lest it devour my whole being. It is there immediately if I need to access it...weddings, funerals, horrific events in the news...latest chapter of my book...

I have developed ways of dealing with pain when people hurt me. Because I know that my strength comes from within, I like to build that strength up and healing words are my mortar and paste. Especially through music. Music has been an important healing aid for me since I was a middle schooler. And the very most important aspect of using music as a healing tool is to;

1) Listen to the right music.

2) Pay close attention to the words. Do they have an effect on you? Do they speak to your soul? Do they brighten you up or give you hope? I hope it does, I hope it comforts your soul like a warm blanket.

I hope you will listen to a few of my more favorite songs below and really pay attention to the words. I have shared my opinion of the most poignant parts of the songs, the parts that to me-make them stand out. 

So this is my all-time favorite strength building song...Be Still by the Killers. I think the benefit of this song is how it encourages inner strength and belief in yourself. Life isn't easy you have to stir up that inner warrior. We all have that...they just might be sleeping...Wake it up!

"Be Still"

Be still
And go on to bed
Nobody knows what lies ahead
And life is short
To say the least
We're in the belly of the beast

Be still
Wild and young
Long may your innocence reign
Like shells on the shore
And may your limits be unknown
And may your efforts be your own
If you ever feel you can't take it anymore

Don't break character
You've got a lot of heart

Is this real or just a dream?
Rise up like the sun
Labor till the work is done

Be still
One day you'll leave
Fearlessness on your sleeve
When you've come back, tell me what did you see
What did you see
Was there something out there for me?

Be still
Close your eyes
Soon enough you'll be on your own
Steady and straight
And if they drag you through the mud
It doesn't change what's in your blood

(Over chains)
When they knock you down

Don't break character
You've got a lot of heart
Is this real or just a dream?
Be still
Be still
Be still
Be still

Over rock and chain
Over sunset plain
Over trap and snare
When you're in too deep
In your wildest dream
In your made up scheme
When they knock you down
When they knock you down

Don't break character
You've got sooooo much heart

Is this real or just a dream?
Oh Rise up like the sun
And labor till the work is done
Rise up like the sun
Labor till the work is

Rise up like the sun
And labor till the work is done

This next song is by the Oh Hello's,  great song about being human. It is called, "I have Made Mistakes". Life is about mistakes. It's okay to make them. That is usually how we learn best. No one ever learned anything from being absolutely perfect because no one is perfect! I KNOW! Contrary to popular belief...there may have only been one.

My favorite parts of this one,

"We are not alone in the dark with our demons", 

It relentlessly screams...if you need help, don't be afraid to speak with someone, a friend, a mental health care professional. In this day and age, we are eradicating the stigma attached to seeking out mental health professionals.

And finally from this song, and the larger part of it...

"but nothing is a waste if you learn from it...
...and the sun it does not cause us to grow.
It is the rain that will strengthen your soul
and it will make you whole"

Expect trouble, expect triumph...since you are learning...we always take a step forward, even when we repeat scenarios over and over again. We will learn and we will eventually take another step forward. You've got to trust the journey.

And the last song, to reiterate and oust the mushy people...

"Say (All I need)" by OneRepublic, Dreaming out loud. 

The best part to me, 

"Bless my soul, you're a lonely soul
because you won't let go of anything you hold...

Well all I need is the air I breathe and a place to rest my head". 

Let your pain go, let your insecurities go, whatever is not serving you, let it go!...visualize them taking up physical space, like a sphere of nasty negativity. Place it with care into a balloon and visualize it moving away from your body and burning up in the atmosphere...

Now, it's gone. And on to the business of life...
Don't forget to breathe and soak it up.

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