By Joeel A. Rivera, M.Ed.
I had the opportunity to think about this as I performed with Terez Hartman, one of my favorite, if not my favorite, musicians. She is not new to the music industry; in fact, she has a history in the field that would be in alignment with most famous musicians. However, through her journey she has redirected her path from a “commercial” industry to truly letting her own “song” of inspiration be heard. I must say that it takes a lot of courage to choose your own song rather than choosing the song society tells you to sing. I mean this on many levels, not just from a musical perspective. We all have an internal song to share with the world.
Music has played a powerful role in my life. I feel that embracing music and following my song has helped me become who I am today. I am sure that all of you have a song that you listen to that makes you feel inspired, and at the same time you have a song that you listen to that brings you back to a past experience or a pivotal part of your life. At our core, we ARE music—we are all energy and vibration. Music resonates with us because it is part of our tribal instinct. The rhythm, words, and sounds resonate with our soul at a deep level.
Music not only connects us to our True Self but it also connects us to others.
In fact, I was reading a research study that found that when people sing in unison, such as in a choir, their heartbeats actually synchronize with one another as if they were beating as one. Music can also serve as an affirmation of where we stand in a period of our life. This is why we resonate with certain songs and certain artists depending on where they are at. The challenge is that sometimes we follow a song even if it’s not where we want to go because we sang it so many times before. It’s as if we live a life that is not our own, only to wake up many years later to realize that we have lost the rhythm to our own lyrics. In other words, we are no longer creating our path and our destiny—others are in the driver’s seat. Again, I don’t just speak of music that we listen to, I speak of the voices and influences that surround us and play a major role in our lives.
Music can be destructive , but it can also be a powerful force in helping us create the life that we want. For example, I remember how after my brother passed away I could barely sleep at night. This was because of two reasons: one was because of the grieving process and the other was because I could not stop creating music in my mind. You see, one of the ways that my brother and I connected was through music and rhyming. We would spend hours improvising and would have conversations where everything that we discussed had to rhyme. What was happening at night was that my internal voice was singing and reprogramming itself to a new song, one that would help me see a different reality. It was as if I was taking the old cassette tapes (before CD’s) and recording over them to create a new script in my life.
When I went back to school and found myself doubting my abilities, I had a song to remind me of my greatness and that I could achieve anything that I wanted to achieve. When I had obstacles and challenges, I had songs for them too. When I was not motivated, I had a song to lift me up. Slowly these songs transformed my life so that I could see a world of potential and opportunity. I recognized that which had been hidden within me due to the voices and songs from other people that had muted my own and driven me off my true path.
Music can be very healing. In fact, I have used it when working with teens that come from a very rough environment. I would put music in the background and have them improvise. Of course, most of them would resist it at first, but with time they all truly enjoyed it. Not only because they thought it was cool that they could come up with lyrics quickly, but also because it was a way to help them release frustrations and pains and at the same time find their voice amongst the chaos.
So, what does this all have to do with you? Everything, because we all have our own internal song, whether we are musically inclined or not. It is time to sing your heart song and stop listening to the songs of others that hold you back. And, in your relationship, remember that your partner has his or her own unique song. If you learn their song, only then will you know them at the deepest level. Sing your songs in harmony and two hearts can beat as one, just as the individuals in a Choir. So, ask yourself: What is your heart song? And in the relationships in your life are you taking the time to learn theirs?
“To love a person is to learn the song that is in their heart and sing it to them when they have forgotten.” —Thomas Chandler
Joeel A. Rivera, M.Ed., Ph.D. (ABD) holds a Master’s Degree in Counseling and is currently completing his dissertation for his Ph.D. in Psychology. Joeel’s extensive career as a relationship coach includes certifications in P.R.E.P, a 30-year research-based program for couples, Nurturing Father’s curriculum, and Parenting 21st Century. Joeel is now taking a select number of Life, Relationship, and Entrepreneurship Coaching clients. Contact Joeel at firstname.lastname@example.org