Do you have a personal anthem song? Does it change from time to time, year to year, mood to mood? Or has it been the same song for as long as you can remember?
I have a playlist called Inspirations with fifty-five songs that lift me up, get me going, help me to feel unstuck. It started with only a few songs to listen to when I was in a down mood, then grew as friends, family and clients shared other inspirational songs with me.
The first song on the playlist is Martina McBride’s “Anyway.” It replaced Bon Jovi’s “It’s My Life,” which is still a favorite on the list, and it has occasionally lost the first seed spot to some other flash-in-the-pan song, but it always finds its way back to the number one spot because it is my personal anthem, articulating and reflecting how I strive to live my life. Here are the first few verses:
You can spend your whole life building
Something from nothin’
One storm can come and blow it all away
Build it anyway
You can chase a dream
That seems so out of reach
And you know it might not never come your way
Dream it anyway
God is great
But sometimes life ain’t good
And when I pray
It doesn’t always turn out like I think it should
But I do it anyway
I do it anyway
This world’s gone crazy
It’s hard to believe
That tomorrow will be better than today
Believe it anyway
You can love someone with all your heart
For all the right reasons
In a moment they can choose to walk away
Love ’em anyway…
I was listening to this song the other day…one of those low, “I hate COVID and staying at home and doing on-line therapy and blah, blah, blah,” days. Ridiculously, yet predictably, the song made me feel better, helped snap me out of my pointless whining. I started thinking about why I felt better, why exactly I connect so deeply with this message. Why do I believe it’s better to do things that won’t last, that could very well fail, that may lead to loss and heartache and struggle? Why do things that may very well be pointless?
After pondering for a bit, I realized it’s because it’s who I am and exactly, precisely who I want to be. I want to be endlessly hopeful because it keeps me moving forward. I want to risk failure because things might work out well. I want to risk heartbreak because loving and connecting feel so amazing. I want do the things that are important to me and feel right simply and entirely because they are important to me and they feel right. Not for a particular result. Not because of the anticipated outcome.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I do not succeed in living life this way. I have a long, long way to go before I am actually this accepting of adversity (hence the whiny days!). But I like listening to the song because it reminds me that this is who I want to be and how I want to move through the world. Listening to it moves me in that general direction, right? Maybe or maybe not, but I’ll do it anyway!
What’s your anthem? Please post in comments, so we can all share in your inspiration.