So much has gone on this summer that it is difficult to fully process all the emotions and thoughts. Experiencing situations that test my humanity have left me feeling empty and exhilarated at the same time. I know our journey to consciousness is not meant to be smooth, it is meant to challenge us and bring us deeper into ourselves. I catch myself wrapped up in so much anxiety over this at times I forget myself and nothing makes sense. So, how do I snap myself out of my anxiety and remember? How do I make sure that when the world around me is testing my ability to stay focused on myself that I do not get completely lost? How do we maintain the strength and belief in ourselves, block out the ugliness and redirect our attention to ourselves? The answer is simple, but not so easy to maintain, it is love. Here is a bit of what I have learned about love and how I know it is not so easy.
Can you think back to your first knock your socks off, butterfly inducing adult crush? I say adult because, if you were like me you had multiple crushes as a teenager. I was convinced I’d one day marry George Michael, the lead singer of the band Wham! Don’t worry my broken heart later learned why it was not a possibility and it wasn’t because I was living in a small town in Connecticut and he would never find me. The following months it was Robert Smith (the leader singer of The Cure) and at some point, I am certain Simon Le Bon (the lead singer of Duran Duran) melted my heart. I did have crushes on boys in my class, not just the ones hanging on my bedroom walls who headed up some of the most awesome bands of all time. I love 80’s music! That will never change.
Another thing that will never change is my connection to music, the emotions, the inspiration and motivation that come from listening to music. I have a playlist for all of my life moments. These playlists connect me to my inner self along with the people and places that are a part of who I am. Without the rhythms and poetry shared by the artists who write them I would not feel the inspiration while I write in this moment, the motivation while out for a run, the joy while cooking dinner or the energy while getting myself ready in the morning. There is song for every mood and a lyric that connects each of us on an extremely human level.
Music is energy created when people connect. The power in human connection is the energy, the wisdom and the strength that comes from it. Each time we meet someone new we get to go through a discovery process that leads us deeper into ourselves. This exploration gives us information about our behaviors and motivations. Ironically, we learn the most about ourselves when we are in relationship with others. If you are like me, you feel so deeply that you wonder if it is really a necessary part of being human. Do I have to own being human by feeling so much pain and hurt? I sometimes get so caught up in the pain that I forget the beauty. It is because I don’t always trust myself to know and understand love. I have learned that as much of a believer in the beauty of humanity, the power in human connection and our ability to be guided by love, I have had trouble believing it is always present for me. It doesn’t mean that my connection to people is lost, it simply means I don’t always connect to the love inside of me.
Our parents, siblings and other family members provide us with the space and the opportunity to practice being social beings as babies and young children. We learn from observing them, making mistakes and bravely engaging with them. We know love from feeling it from outside of us. They love and adore us, take care of us and we begin to learn that acceptance is part of survival. We need love and acceptance to feel human and survive as social beings. Eventually, we branch out, make friends, meet classmates, teammates, co-workers and along the way someone special catches our eye. And if you are like me, your heart is snagged like a true believer.
It’s not always going to be as simple as believing that George Michael is waiting to marry you and take you across the globe. It gets complicated and mess because that is exactly what it means to be human. We are messy creatures full of love, compassion and kindness. It gets messy when we stop focusing on this innate love we instinctually know and suddenly switch our focus to what we fear. Let me explain in the simplest way I know how. You know the feeling you get when you first know you’ve fallen for someone. The feeling of wanting to stay up all night and talk to him or her, not caring about losing sleep, just one hundred percent focused on being with that person, learning about him or her, giggling over silly things and creating a connection that activates every cell in your body. That aliveness is fun, it motivates and inspires us and is the foundation of most art that is created, especially music.
So, how it is that we can so easily be moved from this love? How is it that we can decide to focus on hating people we don’t even know and at times completely focus on fear? Both fear and hate send our bodies into a fight or flight response which often times leaves us feeling stressed and anxious. Now, think about what happens in your body, mind and soul when you choose to focus on love. You are able to live full out and experience moments of joy, kindness and peace. If you choose hate and fear, you live by constantly reacting to the world around you. Love comes from within you and guides you according to your truth and knowing. It guides you to happiness and all that is important to you. Hate takes you out of yourself. It causes you to listen to the noise that surrounds you rather than the wisdom from within you.
We all have a tremendous amount of love within us. I mention the feeling you get when you first meet someone because that energy is always there and sometimes it takes someone special to remind us. It never goes away; it is a gift we have been given at birth. This love connects us and allows us to experience everything we manifest (good and not so good) even when we forget it is there. The love never leaves us. It is the truth and beauty of being human. When we become fully aware of this love, we connect with one another on a level that stimulates us intellectually, physically and spiritually. We get to experience being seen, heard and valued by and another human being. This is why I choose to focus on human connection and its power. It heals and creates breath taking beauty.
Things are getting busier with the start of school, maybe you’re going back to your office or transitioning into something new, for most this means we will be moving back to a routine if summer provided us with the opportunity to fall out of one. As we make this move, we can make it with love. A love that engulfs us and keeps us up at night with excitement and possibility. A pure and precious love that can heal hate and diminish fear. I know I sound like I haven’t been living on this planet. I have felt every emotion, trust me, I go to the dark places too. I am reminded that the light and the love that exist within is so much more powerful. I am reminded when I look into my children’s eyes, hear the lyrics of a song that connects me to my humanity or experience the excitement of connecting with a special person that love is so damn powerful. It hears, it sees, and it knows exactly who you are and all the greatness within you.
So, go create a playlist (or a mixed tape) and connect with being human and consciously knowing that you are love and light and all that is messy and beautiful at once. With ease and joy, go out and meet what’s next. It might not be summer all year long, but I promise with the right playlist, it will be fun and carefree.