Music has often been a saving grace for me. I am not a musician. I took some piano lessons as a child, I can’t play much now, I don’t sing on key, or sometimes at all because I have a paralyzed vocal chord. Perhaps I was a musician in a past life or something – because music sneaks into my soul and heals it. It really does. In high school I wrote a poem about this very thing, and a couple lines from it have stuck in my head for all these 20 some years since I did.

“The music creeps into the crevices of my soul and becomes my salvation.” That is one line, but the whole thing is about music healing me, wrapping me up and helping me.

As I have gone through life different music has helped me get past hard times, it has helped me get through hard things, it has made good times happier and fun times more enjoyable. Music really has enriched my life. 

In high school I listened to a lot of different types of music, and it all led me through the pains and hurt and happiness I was feeling back then. I listened to Garth Brooks and GNR (Guns and Roses) and I listened to Sir Mix A Lot and The Black Crows, and just about anything in between. They all got me through that part of my life. 

Lately this song has been in my head, and I think for a good reason. It’s Natalie Merchant’s “Life Is Sweet.”

You can read or listen to it here.

In it she says:

“They told you life is hard 
it’s misery from the start 
it’s dull and slow and painful

I tell you life is sweet 
in spite of the misery 
there’s so much more 
be grateful

Who do you believe? 
who will you listen to 
who will it be? 
it’s high time that you decide 
in your own mind”

This really strikes home with me. Sometimes we get so caught up in the dull, slow, painful part of life that we forget that there is so much beauty to see. We forget all the wonderful moments and we rush through trying to get PAST the hard, mean, painful parts. I think this is normal – it’s our fight or flight response. Of course we want to run from the pain and the anguish. 

What we forget, when our bodies and brains are telling us that we need to run or fight, is that there is beauty in all of it. That even though we have misery right now we will also find beauty and hope and peace and laughter in there, if we look. 

I am suggesting this: (to myself and anyone else who might read it) 

We are more than our base desires. We are more than our instincts. Let’s try to calm down that fight or flight and really feel the pain, and the hard, and the slow. Really feel what all of that is teaching us, is giving us. AND at the same time stop, take a deep breath, and look around us to see the beauty in the moments. 

Only we can decide what our outlook will be. Is life dull and slow and painful? Or is it sweet in spite of the misery? How much to we have to be grateful for. If you are able to read this I have to assume you have quite a bit to be grateful for – even if you don’t think about it every day. 

I am choosing to go forward from this moment on to think about the sweet, the beautiful, the good – and even when there is misery I will choose to see the things that make life wonderful. 



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