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You Will Survive: Emotion is What Connects Us

I had an "aha" moment while listening to my musical playlist last night. I've been collecting potential songs for my solo exhibit in September. Each painting will pair with a specific piece that emotes strong feelings. I've reviewed a lifetime of iconic music, melodies that walked me through dark challenges, and some of my highest joys. The ones that move you to tears and swell you with emotion. I realized that these songs still affect me even when they speak of things that are no longer relevant in my life. Their melodies take me back to that exact point in time, and a part of me time travels.

One favorite song by Gloria Gaynor, "I Will Survive," reminds me of a painful high school moment when my circle of friends turned their back on me. I still connect through it emotionally, but I'm no longer that isolated boy who discovered a "kick me" sign taped to my back while walking down the hall. I remember the shame I felt when I realized that I walked around the school all day, and none of my friends stood up for me. I clung to Gaynor's words for the rest of the year in some way, knowing that I was required to take care of myself first and foremost and that no person, place, or thing was more important than my inner strength.

Shouldn't songs like this be included in my solo exhibition? For even though the situation isn't relevant, the emotional connection is. I've realized that we communicate through our emotions, for they are universal, and I can still understand what it means when a song translates the joy of first love, the loss of another, or the shame of betrayal. Emotions are what connect us. They make us human and open a portal to our connection to the spirit in everyone. While we may feel isolated in our stories, we share what it is to be human. Let yourself feel your emotions. I remind you, "You Will Survive," whatever worry or fear you carry today!

Use the comments section to share what songs have walked you through the most challenging times of your life.

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