So I’m here today to talk about a thing I’ve been working on over the past few months but have felt like I can’t really talk about it because it’s looked at a little weirdly. Okay, when I phrase it like that, it just sounds pathetic, but I’ll explain myself and it’ll make sense, trust me. As you’ll know already from my previous post (or will know now from reading this), I have been taking small steps every day towards grounding myself and ensuring that my actions and interactions all consider the presence of God in every aspect of my life. One of these very crucial steps was cutting music out of my life. (I can already tell you’ve got that exact look on your face right now that I would have done a few years back, but bear with me here…)
For me, music has always been an escape route; my least damaging way of blocking out the world. If I remember correctly, my love for music started during my early teens, but even as the years have gone by, my taste has remained pretty much the same – indie/pop music or acoustic covers – meaning that I was never really up to date with the latest releases or bestselling artists etc etc and it remained a comfort thing as opposed to a trend. The problem, however, with making music a comforter is that it’s one of those things that stick in your head even when you’re not actively listening to it. You find your head completely clouded by the thoughts and feelings that exist in each of the songs, and whether it’s intentional or not, our own thoughts and feelings begin to reflect this. And this is something I absolutely did not need in my life.
For my long term readers, you’ll know that I have been determined to put down the burdens of all that has passed and move forward with a trust that God will light my way (as He always has done despite my lack of appreciation). And so I realised that to have something like the familiarity of certain songs attached to certain situations would be detrimental to my growth. By listening to the same things on repeat, I was allowing myself to feel the same things and fall into the same old cycle, and frankly, I don’t have the time or the energy for these moments of self-pity and self-depreciation anymore. This realisation in itself was enough for me to take a clean break. And you know what? It was a lot easier to do than I thought it would be.
As a Spotify user, I never downloaded music onto my phone anyway, so all I had to do was get rid of the playlists in my library and create one that’s better suited to my spiritual health. (you can listen to it here) And it has done wonders. It’s been a few months now without music (with the exception of the Moana soundtrack because how can you not belt out ‘You’re Welcome’ when your little monster is singing it at the top of his lungs?!), and I have seen such a huge difference in myself. My head feels so much clearer and I find it so much easier to stay true to my faith because the only thing playing in my ears are words sung in the remembrance of God. But the most important thing, I’m not relying on music to be a buffer when I’m faced with a difficult situation. With such a clear mind, I am able to actually address issues with a higher level of clarity and respond appropriately instead of just letting myself get caught up in a whirlwind of emotion (which is never helpful). I will admit this now though before you think it was dead easy, there were some days that I really really really just wanted something playing in the background that didn’t ground me in reality because old habits die hard, but I had to keep renewing my intentions and reminding myself that while they may die hard, they do eventually die and I will get to a point where I don’t need to use music like a crutch.
Now, for a lot of people I know cutting music out of your life has become some kind of indicator that you’re suddenly becoming uber religious (not that it’s actually anyone else’s business even if you are, but anyway…), so I’ve been very weary about making this PSA of sorts, but I am too exhausted by life as it is to not be honest about who I am and what I believe in, y’know? And I know, I know that I’ve always been very particular about vocalising certain elements of my faith and where I am in terms of my spirituality because I believe it is such a personal thing that doesn’t need a public opinion on it, BUT I’ve changed my mind. My head is so much clearer and my heart so much softer, and I am genuinely content with the person I’ve become and I know, without a shadow of a doubt, that this has only been possible by the grace of my Lord. And I want people to know that. I want the people in my life to know that I am in my happy place because God has helped me reach that point and I will always express my gratitude in every way I know how for as long as I live. I am as much a stickler for the small details as I am for the grand gestures, so how can I deny the way my Lord has ensured the blessings in my life come to fruition when I need them the most?
So, in short, folks, there are more things than we like to accept which impact the way we perceive the world and all that it has to offer. It is up to us as individuals to reassess the things that we use as crutches to get through this life and find healthier outlets for our own long-term wellbeing and growth.