Before immersing myself in my generation's pop culture icons, I grew up listening to James Taylor. And Madonna. Among other things. Anyway, I digress–my dad would put on these old albums and all us kids would get on the couch and dance.
I'm not a kid anymore, and I don't remember ever dancing like I did way back when, but the songs pop into my head from time to time. It's not just songs, it's memories–of grade school and Sunday school, of old friends who probably won't recognize my face, of what people have said to me when I was eight.
These things especially get to me when I get into my slumps. It's as if my brain tries to escape the present-tense by going anywhere else. It can't think about the future because that gets me worked up and I dig a deeper hole for myself, so it goes back. Surely, I have a skewed view of my own childhood: I've forgotten a lot, and maybe that's what makes hindsight so pleasant.
Today, Carole King is really getting to me. "When you're down and troubled..." ah! That song makes it so easy to wallow. Here I am feeling down for no reason whatsoever, and this song goes on validating me.
Before my youth pastor went on to get his seminary degree, he said (almost as words of parting) that I ought to preach to myself. Especially when I didn't want to. He said that God has told us everything we need to hear. Sometimes, life just gets a little loud. So, we have to actively repeat these promises to ourselves as a reminder of what we should already know–because we're a forgetful species.
I don't do it enough, but I really should follow my pastor's advice. So many times, I go through days and weeks and months in this fog that I almost resign myself to it. But a little preaching can go a long way. I mean, it's good to remind yourself that you've got hope, right?