Hello to you. It's been a bit since my last blog as I've been working hard on a local festival. I'm publishing this after the festival has finished because there are a couple of areas I'd like to discuss with those of you that drop by.
For those of you who may be looking for musician tips, this posting will still be applicable to your life. It will just seem like a bit of a deviation this week.
When I was growing up, my family used to say: "Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never harm me."
Let me tell you that that phrase is full of hooey! Anybody over the age of 10 knows that words can be used as weapons or they can be used as bandages.
When we use our words like weapons, negative consequences occur. The bible in Proverbs 15:1 says: "A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger." This is fairly self-explanatory and I'm sure you can think of a good example of this. Perhaps something that happened today!
But, I would like to talk about the effects our bodies have when we use harsh words towards others or ourselves.
Did you know that your body produces a natural hormone called cortisol? Cortisol is a very effective short-term response to a perceived or real threat. However, when your body is continuously producing this hormone, it can cause numerous health issues including anxiety and depression.
Let me bring this back to music for a bit. When we listen to soothing, inspiring music, our hearts begin to feel like they're healing. I dealt with that topic in my last blog.
When we listen to music that is violent, degrading, or just plain annoying, our minds and bodies react to it. There's no getting around that fact.
Our blood pressure increases, our muscles tighten, and we experience a cortisol moment. Look at what happens when emotions become unmanageable and violence occurs.
What is the solution then for this? The answer lies in our choices of what we listen to and what we tell ourselves.
In the delightful movie the Wizard of Oz, Dorothy's companions are each looking for something that they already have. The cowardly lion is looking for courage. The friendly yet not-so-bright scarecrow is looking for a brain. And the cerebral tin-man is looking for a heart.
Each eventually finds out that they already had what they needed. They realize that they can be their own best friends or worst enemies. This is really what words do to us.
The point I'm making through this posting is that our world is filled with people who want to degrade, demean, and disrespect whoever they come across.
If you believe in Christ as your savior, then your calling is different than that. One that is meant to heal, to listen, and to love others. This is completely contrary to what our human nature is like, but is so important in having meaningful and fulfilling relationships.
It will also help our lives be the kind that people want to model and can change the whole demeanor of someone who may just be having a bad day.
So the next time you want to lash out at someone because they 'rocked' your world or caused you pain, remember that we need to be the 'Salt and Light of the world'. I know this is hard and takes work, but it is so worth it!
Blessings to you and may God give you peace and grace!