I was driving home from work last night, the latest in a series of days full of stress and uncertainty and for some reason, I had the urge to hear Savage Garden’s “Affirmation.” When my brain talks to me like this, I always listen. It’s long been one of my favorite Savage Garden songs, mostly because it’s a cleverly written song full of advice that we should all take to heart. Sometimes, when I am at my lowest, I don’t want to hear what many could consider to be trite cliches about things that Darren Hayes believes in, but for some reason, it resonated with me yesterday.
I woke up this morning and just had to hear it again. I think it was partly because of this article that I found while browsing reddit, which basically says that complaining is killing us. As I was reading it, I thought of my previous therapist, Maura, who could have practically written the article because it is basically mindfulness dressed up in pretty language. I have really been going through a rough patch lately – if I were honest about it, it’s been since mid-summer, and it’s been a lot of ups and downs. I find myself dealing with a lot more depressive symptoms than I have in years. But I’ve been taking a lot of steps to counteract those feelings because, as we all know, feelings aren’t facts and I’m more than just the amalgam of my thoughts and feelings. As I so frequently so, my anxiety (or, in this case, my thoughts and feelings) is not the boss of me.
For some reason, Darren’s list of things he believes in is really speaking to me right now, especially the chorus, because those are truly things that I believe too.
I believe in Karma what you give is what you get returned
I believe you can’t appreciate real love until you’ve been burned
I believe the grass is no more greener on the other side
I believe you don’t know what you’ve got until you say goodbye
I’ve always taken issue with the third one – that the grass is no more greener on the other side – but only because the word “more” is completely unnecessary. But from the vantage point of my 40s, I mostly find it charming and endearing and realize that the line would have had to have been jettisoned if not for that extra “more.”
So if you’re like me and feeling the challenges of life more acutely these days than usual, I encourage you to listen to Darren’s list and watch the video below. And I can’t recommend the article I linked to enough. It might be a little bit woo for some people, but I encourage people to give mindfulness a chance. It literally changed my life. It could change yours too.