Do You Have an Anthem?

Last week I went for a run and as I often do, listened to music on my iPod.  I chose an album by Cake.  The song, “I Will Survive” came on and something unusual happened. I began to cry.  Not tears of sadness, tears of gratitude and joy.

As I listened, the words spoke to me like never before. I realized so clearly I've not only survived, I've thrived.

The lyrics jumped out as a powerful metaphor for my thoughts, particularly the extremely painful ones like these.

I’m trapped in a life raising a child with autism. Life sucks and would be so much easier if I didn’t have a child with autism. My child shouldn’t have autism.

And the big wammy!

I don’t want a child with autism.

Man, just typing the words feels uncomfortable.

There was a time when I did believe the thoughts above.  I spent many hours in a hole feeling sorry for myself.  I felt deep pain and didn’t see the way out.

Then I met some amazing teachers who showed me the way. I wrote about the process in my post, “The Day I Discovered My Freedom.” I no longer believe the painful thoughts above.

Now, when painful thoughts try to tempt me with desire for a life other than my own I walk them straight out the door.

“Just turn around now.  You're not welcome anymore.”

“As long as I know how to love I know I’ll be alive.”  I choose love.  I choose life.

What to know how to do it?

Start by considering this idea.  Your thoughts are stories you tell yourself about reality. They are your perceptions based on previous experience.  Do you like the story you’re telling or does it cause suffering and pain?  If your story isn’t working, you have all the power to change it. I did.  I now not only survive, I thrive.  This is my new story.  What’s yours?

Let me know if you’d like help to learn how to discover your new story.  I'd love to show you.

I’ve included the lyrics for the song by Gloria Gaynor, "I Will Survive".  Cover by the band Cake.  This is my anthem.

At first I was afraid. I was petrified. I kept thinking I could never live Without you by my side. But then I spent so many nights Just thinking how you'd done me wrong. I grew strong. I learned how to get along.

And so you're back from outer space. I just walked in to find you here Without that look upon your face. I should have changed my f*#@ing lock. I would have made you leave your key If I'd have known for just one second You'd be back to bother me.

Oh now go. Walk out the door. Just turn around now. You're not welcome anymore. Weren't you the one Who tried to break me with desire? Did you think I'd crumble? Did you think I'd lay down and die? Oh not I.

I will survive. As long as I know how to love I know I'll be alive. I've got all my life to live. I've got all my love to give. I will survive. I will survive.

It took all the strength I had Just not to fall apart. I'm trying hard to mend The pieces of my broken heart. And I spent oh so many nights Just feeling sorry for myself. I used to cry. But now I hold my head up high.

And you'll see me with somebody new. I'm not that stupid little person Still in love with you. And so you thought you'd just drop by, And you expect me to be free. But now I'm saving all my lovin' For someone who's lovin' me.

Oh now go. Walk out the door. Just turn around now. You're not welcome anymore. Weren't you the one Who tried to break me with desire? Did you think I'd crumble? Did you think I'd lay down and die? Oh not I.

I will survive. As long as I know how to love I know I'll be alive. I've got all my life to live. I've got all my love to give. I will survive. I will survive.

If you have a song that speaks to you, I’d love to hear about it.