"The end of all good music is to affect the soul." Composer, Claudio Monteverdi (1567-1643)
Music blows past our mental gatekeepers and lodges deep in our soul. I have declared a new release as my new favorite song, sung along, bought the record and only then, realized the lyrics were terrible. The power of the music or the beat was enough to hook me and motivate me to exchange my cash.
Does the New Age synthesizer inspire peace during meditation? Do the classic hymns lift your soul to heaven? Does the expansive musical score bring you to tears as the silver screen flickers during the action scene? Does the indy artist share in your angst and offer comfort at the situation no one else understands?
Music can serve as a connection point between people groups or keep you up all night dancing. Music therapy may even assist cancer patients to heal quicker.
Nourishment is a healthy sustenance for our bodies growth and sustainment, Eating too much of anything delivers us into the glutenous category at the unhealthy end of the spectrum. Can music go too far? What happens when it becomes our go-to escape from engaging the world around us? Recovering from the first half gallon of ice cream after a breakup is possible. However, repeated every night only forces the need for a new wardrobe and trip to the ER.
Psychologist and meditation expert, Tara Brach, encourages, not to retreat into our story, and asks "what are you unwilling to feel?" If music is the place we go to hide from vulnerability and the needed conversations, it is hard to claim it nourishes our soul. It has morphed into an enabling crutch, that weakens and hinders growth.
Music is a marvelous gift to showcase the musician's incredible talent and the results of hard work. We can be grateful for the array of options and expertise available at our fingertips. Transporting our souls from the mundane moments of the commute, by inserting ear buds and turning up the volume, is a delicacy for our being.
Going Further: Does nourishment come through playing instruments or just listening? What ways do you retreat into music to escape? Are there any pockets of your life where music has become a crutch? What changes need to be made to restore balance and come out of hiding? How would this restoration change your life?