I once read a quote that said, “Music’s the medicine of the mind”… well said. Music plays such an interesting role in our lives. When we hear music, it does something to our spirit. It makes us want to move, to dance. It fills us with energy. It leads us to cry when we didn’t even know we were sad. It makes us happy when we’d rather stay under the covers. Music can have an amazing impact on our emotional being. But what I find so fascinating about music’s role in our mind and our lives, is how it bookmarks our story. When I hear certain music, I immediately am transported back in time. For instance, whenever I hear a marching band, my memory is instantly filled with the smell of fresh cut grass, the chill of a Fall night, all the sights and sounds of Tara Stadium, and I am instantly 16 again. Or whenever I hear “Be Thou My Vision” my mind travels back to my wedding day and standing in the back of the church listening to my dear friend, Noelle, sing those beautiful words as tears streamed down my face.
It is always a fascinating trip down memory lane to scroll through my mental music library and recall the times and periods that I listened to certain songs or types of music. I can listen to a song on repeat with the best of them. What I’ve realized over the years, though, is that the songs that really draw my attention do so for a reason, and those particular songs become a sort of theme song for that particular season of life. Now when I reflect back over my life, I have a sort of soundtrack that accompanies the chapters of my story.
I once listened to Lara Fabian’s “I Will Love Again” over and over after a really bad breakup. No, I’m not kidding. Yes, the song is as cheesy as the title sounds. It is a club mix type song about a girl who will love again though [her] heart is breaking… stronger than before. Let’s be honest, sometimes theme songs are neither terribly profound nor musical masterpieces.
As a very young 23 year old teaching students who were only a handful of years younger, I listened to U2’s “It’s a Beautiful Day” and “Elevation” every day on the way to work. You can’t help but feel like you can conquer a class of 16 year olds after listening to those two songs!
And when I was preparing to leave that teaching job I dearly loved for my leap of faith into grad school and the counseling profession, I listened to Joe Cocker’s “Have a Little Faith in Me.” I imagined this was God’s message to me in those final months at Marist… when the road gets dark and you can no longer see, let my love throw a spark and have a little faith in me.
Years later, when I struggled with infertility and eventually went through IVF, my theme song was NewSong’s “Rescue.” I can still remember sitting in the waiting room before my egg retrieval, and then 10 months later in the delivery room, with my earphones in trying to rest in the message that I was not alone and there was power and strength beyond my own available to me.
My latest theme song has been Sara Bareilles’ “Brave.” I cannot get enough of this song. It has been on repeat both in my mind and on my computer for the past several months. It has been a cheerful companion as I have been facing little and big fears. I love the words and sentiment of the song as it challenges me to see how big my Brave is.
Music encourages us, challenges us, and helps us tap into emotions we did not know were there. We are drawn to certain songs during certain seasons of life for a reason, and those words and melodies serve as sources of inspiration and support when we feel we are paddling up stream.
Do you have theme songs in your life? Do you have musical bookmarks that score your story? What is your current theme song? Having a theme song that you can listen to and find comfort and inspiration in helps you move through these unique seasons of your life. Much like a mantra, a song is a wonderful way to center your mind and heart. Music truly can be medicine to the soul.
I would love to hear the songs from which you draw your strength and encouragement. In honor of our theme song topic and the power of music over our minds and hearts, I thought this would be a good opportunity for another giveaway! I am going to give away $10 iTunes gift cards to three lucky winners! Just leave a comment below or send me a message to enter the drawing, and I will draw at the end of the week. Look forward to hearing from you!!