The last few weeks have been full of emotional pressure, outside of my schoolwork; which for good or bad always remains a constant. My way of handling these constant ups and downs I’ve been experiencing is to turn to music.
When I say I turn to music I don’t mean the weekly top 40, even though some of those songs are pretty catchy, but I’ve found the songs that moves me the most are deep, heartfelt, and can all be found on the soundtrack of Les Misérables ( 10th Anniversary Concert).
This is the best morale booster you can find outside of an institution.
I find it strange that I gain encouragement from listening to such unhappy songs, but there’s inspiration even within the saddest. What I like so much about this novel turned musical, turned movie, is that there is no perfect hero and that even good people suffer. I don’t know why I find that last bit particularly cheering, since I’m trying to be a good person myself, but it illustrates to me that suffering is not solely the consequence of wrongdoing and if you’re in pain that doesn’t mean you’re forsaken.
C.S. Lewis wrote a great book entitled The Problem of Pain that deals with the issue of a loving Deity and pain in our lives, and if that’s compatible or opposite in nature. What I drew most from the book was the many aspects of suffering, and how emotional pain is just as cutting as physical. At first emotional pain seems to dim when compared to the physical ones of hunger, fatigue, and breaking bones. Yet the very issue of pain is that it hurts, and mental anguish seems to carry long after meals are served, rest is taken, and bones are mended.
As well, the saying “no pain, no gain” is easy enough to use as a retort, but it fails to overlook how terribly wretched the feeling can be; when you come in contact with harm, it bruises your vital organs. In Agnes Grey written by Anne Brontë, the human heart is compared to India-rubber that a little swells it, but a great deal will not burst it. She then expounds that if “little more than nothing will disturb it, little less than all things will suffice” to break it.
So as stated, my antidote to this ailment is to listen to Les Misérables.
I find that without making any change to my situation I’m able to forget my own worries and be carried away in the music. My thoughts are then given a chance to stop racing around in my mind and settle down into a rhythm, once this repose is over I can more clearly deal with the situation at hand.
After a few days, or weeks, I find that I no longer need The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra to console me. My first instinct will not be to turn the music on, and instead I will let other life matters fill in the space. That is when I know I have recovered completely and can lovingly push the songs aside until they are needed for the next occasion.