Music Is My Religion (sort of…)

Posted: July 2, 2013 in Op-ed, Uncategorized
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If you are very religious and/or are of the belief that everyone should believe the way that you do, turn back now or strap in because this may not be up your alley. I was born and raised in a very religious home in a very religious part of the very religious southern American Bible Belt…Alabama to be specific. I use the term “religious” to describe all of those because being “religious” and being “spiritual” are two different things. To me “spiritual” is having some deep seeded belief and “relationship” with a higher being of your choice where as, “religious” is “hey look at me I’m at church, but I don’t actually practice what I preach”.

That being said, I’ve always had a sense of detachment from the whole church/god/worship thing. There has always been a sense of…well this is kind of bullshit. That overwhelming, loving, being loved, and being unable to contain your joy so you just have to express it however you can belief in a higher power has always escaped me and believe me, it’s not for lack of trying. I’ve always wanted that kind of feeling, that kind of relationship with religion because that’s what I thought I had to do what I had to have in my life.

It wasn’t until recent months that I really finally came to the conclusion/came to grips with the fact that I really had no spiritual belief or faith in a “god”. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that one doesn’t exist…who am I to know that kind of thing? I’m just saying I haven’t seen any evidence. I may someday find out that I’m completely wrong and have a total egg on my face kind of situation, but I doubt it.

It was also in recent months that I realized I did have something in my life that gave me those overwhelming feelings of happiness, sadness, swelling joy, and drowning sorrow (you know, other than my family and great friends). These wonderful things being music and films. These things have always inspired be in the best and worst possible ways. I’ve never in my life felt feelings like when a certain song strikes a nerve, whether it be a happy, uplifting song that just destroys a bad mood or a sad song that makes you feel the heartbreak the person is singing about. Music has always made my life better and given me a reason to power through tough times and made them better.

Film has always been a medium through which I have found inspiration. Films have always been able to take my mind off of any situation that I’m going through. The sheer excitement of finally being able to sit down and watch a film that you’ve been eagerly anticipating is like no other feeling in the world. It’s like every best Christmas and birthday you have ever had all rolled into one amazing, glowing moment. It brings back feelings from childhood when you saw your favorite superhero on the big screen. Not so ironically, The Avengers and The Dark Knight Rises were two of those amazing moments for me as an adult.

These things for me take the place of some people’s god or religious practices. Going to see a movie I’m excited about or cracking open an album I can’t wait to hear is like going to church or opening the bible. It’s truly an indescribable happiness and enthusiasm. Luckily for me, it’s a set of feelings that I get to experience on a near daily basis. I get to endulge in those experiences pretty much as often as I want to where as some people are unfortunately limited to feeling those feelings.

In conclusion, don’t follow along blindly and believe something just because you think that you should. Also, don’t disbelieve something because someone says you should. Believe what you feel is right and put your heart into whatever you feel passionate about. For me, it’s music and film that inspires me every day. For you, it may be art, or literature, or dance, or anything really. I guess what I’m saying is just be passionate about something. It sounds cliche but it really can make all the difference in the world and can change your life. While you’re at it, give a chance to a band you’ve never listened to or a film you’ve never seen. Open your mind, you may be surprised at what you discover.

-Heath

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