A Song for Every Reason
When I was in my teens and twenties life was fairly simple and there always seemed to be a song to fit the moment. Breakups were a good excuse for overplaying the perfect song, though which side of the equation I was on typically dictated my selection.
I remember playing Three Dog Night’s “One Is the Loneliest Number” when I was the dumpee. I probably drove my sister crazy playing the song over and over again while wallowing in my misery.
One of the few times I did the dumping I felt a distinct connection with Lorrie Morgan’s “What Part of No Don’t You Understand?” Maybe a little heartless but at the time I believed a clean, rip off the band-aid kind of break was best. For me anyway. But because I so rarely had the opportunity to end things in those days, I found the fellow particularly resistant to the idea which is probably why the song came to mind.
Backup Music for All Life’s Ups and Downs
Breakups are only one example of opportunities to connect songs to events. In fact, my kids probably had several occasions to wish a case of laryngitis on me when I’d find a song for almost anything they said. I’m sure it was particularly annoying when they were stuck in the car for a long trip.
In some ways, I think our lives are defined by the music we’re attracted to at different points. How many times do we turn to sad songs or movies when we just need a good cry? Little did we know when we were younger how cathartic those song-induced cries could be? Or how often we’d forget the simple things as life and responsibilities kept us too busy for a sad song and a good, cleansing sob-fest?
For years I fought a kind of low-grade depression. I wasn’t dancing because the girls’ activities kept me too busy, so my social life was limited to band events and parent meetings. Being a single parent was hard enough from the inside, but for reasons unbeknownst to me and the other single moms, many of the married women saw us as a threat. As a result, they were unkind to us in numerous subtle ways. Most of them involved exclusion. Needless to say, I was friendliest with other single moms, but it’s a group which doesn’t have much time for a social life. So I spent what little time was left after work, the girls’ activities, and taking care of house and home alone. In hindsight, the music was silent too.
Finding My Life When the Music Returned
When I returned to the dance community and tuned back into the music which I’d inadvertently silenced while dancing waited on a back burner, my first steps were tentative. I’d lost touch and didn’t belong, or that’s how I saw it. I was closed down, so while my girlfriend’s quickly found dance partners, and ultimately, mates, I remained alone—until I learned a few things. Here again, music was an integral part of that lesson, courtesy of the dance community.
While music can be a solo affair; I use it a lot when I’m writing or working on client accounting, it lends itself far more to community and sharing. Whether it’s a concert in the park, a street fair, musical theater, or karaoke, music brings people together as nothing else I know can. And of course there’s dancing.
I can pull up songs on YouTube and dance around my living room, entertaining and amusing the cats. While fun and a good source of exercise, it isn’t like dancing in a room full of friends, playing off each other and entertaining the people who come to socialize over a few drinks, unfamiliar with the dances we do. Even so, I feel that the dancers pull the spectators in with more than a shared enjoyment of the music the DJ plays. The collective energy of dancers and observers fills the room with a joy which, in my opinion, couldn’t be had without the music.
Life Without Music is A Lonely Affair
There are songs we love, and even songs we hate. Artists who tug at our heartstrings and others who may annoy the bejeebers out of us. Whether they’re filling our hearts with joy, or reminding us of sad times when all we wanted to do was pull the covers over our head and have a good cry, or even making us want silence over their interpretation of music, we react, we feel. And through those emotions we connect with the rest of humanity, often without realizing we’re doing it.
I see now that when not only the dancing was missing, but the music was silent, my life was hollow. Even more, I was a non-contributor. We all have parts to play making the world better, maybe for only a few, and maybe for multitudes. When we sit on the sidelines, our music silent and our feet still, we’re short-changing the world as much as we cheat ourselves.
Finding Our Joy in Music
In connecting with other people through music, we complete the circle; a circle which is more than hands joined or people congregating. It’s a circle of hearts connected on such a deep level the lines between us blur or even disappear.
These days, favorite songs are often connected to a favorite dance and those are no longer solo affairs. When I want to hear something over and over, it’s because of the way the tune gets me up off my feet and moving to the music with sweet abandon. Those are the moments when I’m dancing like nobody’s watching, or feeding on the energy of people who are bringing me a level of joy I lost completely for a little while. Because I lost sight of my joy for a few years, no, because I didn’t find it until recently, it is all the more precious.
Being the Example for a Joy-Filled Life
In some ways, I feel being on both sides of joy is a gift. I have the rare opportunity to understand those who never find it, or maybe need some help realizing they deserve it as much as me or anyone else who’s found it. Maybe all I need to do is help them find the right music. Perhaps it’s just leading by example and encouraging the baby steps.
Making Gratitude a Habit
As always, I end my post with 5 gratitudes. It’s one of the many factors contributing to the joy I finally brought into my life.
- I am grateful for music. It tells the stories of my life, though I may not have penned the words.
- I am grateful for community. Having people in my life I can turn to for advice, a shoulder, or just plain fun is still a novel experience for me. It has enhanced my life in ways I’d never have imagined.
- I am grateful for ideas popping into my head like corn in a bag in the microwave. My challenge now is to catch them before they escape.
- I am grateful for my ability to let loose and be silly; to dance like nobody’s watching, and to be myself without concern for consequences or negative reactions.
- I am grateful for abundance; love, dancing, music, friendship, joy, health, harmony, peace, philanthropy, and prosperity.
Love and Light
About the Author
Sheri Conaway is a writer, blogger, Virtual Assistant and advocate for cats. Sheri believes in the Laws of Attraction, but only if you are a participant rather than just an observer. She specializes in creating content that helps entrepreneurs touch the souls of their readers and clients so they can increase their impact and their income. If you’d like to have her write for you, please visit her Hire Me page for more information. You can also find her on Facebook Sheri Levenstein-Conaway Author