Music and the Importance of Positivity

I think I have said before that music is a very important aspect of my life.  I “sing” in my band Standoff and I try to keep my lyrics on the positive side.  I find inspiration from bands like H20, Madball, Minor Threat, etc. and I try to channel the positivity that they do through their music.  There is a power in music that is hard to duplicate.  I’ve noticed a change in my attitude as I write more positive lyrics and as that attitude changes, I’m able to write more positive lyrics.  It’s the opposite of a viscous circle.  When I was writing my solo work, I tended to put some very depressing words to it.  I noticed that when I would be done playing the songs, I would feel even more down than I did before.  The words were honest, but they were not helpful to my mood and when you struggle with depression and other mood disorders, finding helpful ways of regulating is important.  I would find myself falling deeper into depression and despair.  While I was at STAT one of the therapists asked how helpful being in a punk/hardcore band would be for my anxiety and especially my anger.  He was assuming we were like the Sex Pistols and other early, nihilistic punk bands and had nothing positive to say.  I explained to him how my lyrics were positive and meant to unite people, not divide them.  I told him that I sang about overcoming adversity and always moving forward.  I mentioned that I liked to emphasize living in the present, not the past and not worrying about regret.

There are a few truths about life that we must come to terms with; first, it is unfair and cruel.  I think we can all agree on that one, but it is what we do with it that can change our lives.  We can hate it for it’s coldness and cruelness or we can learn from it and see the beautiful things instead.  We can be crushed and destroyed or we can rise up and find joy.  This realization has found me joy lately and seeing how there are some great people out there who do care about me as well as others gives me hope for the future.

Second, it ends.  One day we will die.  This can be a tough one to swallow, but coming to terms with it can be freeing.  This is one of those things we simply need to accept in order to live a full life.  The more time we spend fighting it, the more time we waste and there is nothing much worse than a wasted life.  Live each day in the moment (as much as you can) and you will feel more fulfilled and happier.  We can look at death as something terrifying and something to fight against, or we can accept it and not worry about it.  Which sounds like the better choice to you?

Thirdly, life can be beautiful.  Look at the beauty that surrounds us.  The sun, the rain, the stars, the moon, the plants and animals; there is so much beauty around us if we are willing to look for it.  The other day after a wonderful evening with a friend I was fortunate enough to see the sunset while I was crossing a bridge.  There were birds singing and the sky was a myriad of colour.  It was beautiful.

There will be disappointment and you won’t always get what you want, but as the Rolling Stones put it, if you try sometime, you’ll get what you need.

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