You are the key to overcoming your difficulties



“SIT down next to me” sing the rock band James. It is a call to people who are suffering bad periods in their life, times of stress, perhaps a complete desertion of optimism. In other words, all of us.
“I’ll sing myself to sleep, a song from the darkest hour, secrets I can’t keep, inside of the day”. How many of us have laid awake at some ungodly time of the night worrying about things we just can’t put out of our minds to be dealt with at a more reasonable moment of our lives?
The purpose of the tune is to reach out to people who are struggling and offer them companionship, at least through song. The singer is admitting that he has been there, knows how you feel and wants to give others reason to hope.
Of course, it is limited the power a song has to change our lives. This is true also of friendship. Things on their own don’t radically alter our situation. In fact, even money, which many people believe is the key to happiness, fails miserably in this regard. It’s well-documented that people who are miserable before winning the lottery are almost always miserable afterwards too.
What a song, and friendship, have the power to do is offer us a moment of relief. And those moments of relief can add up to the change we crave. They both provide opportunity to break out of a very unhealthy habit, wallowing in our difficulties.
Negative emotions by nature pull us down and keep us company even when we wish they would leave. It’s very easy to just give up and allow them to take over. This doesn’t mean that people who are really suffering should just get on with it. That idea is both crass and futile. There are times when we really need help and nobody should hesitate in getting it.
However, changing a bad situation starts with our own actions. Actively seeking out moments which bring us relief, whether that be listening to music, talking with a friend or something else, is the very path which takes us to improved wellbeing. Other things, including friends, can help, but only if you afford them the opportunity.
“Now I’ve swung back down again, it’s worse than it was before, if I hadn’t seen such riches, I could live with being poor” says another part of the song. Whilst this is a cry about the pain of seeing the world come tumbling down again, it also has a potent undercurrent of determination. A resolve that things don’t have to be bad, that there is no need to just accept a situation and that a drive to improve conditions is the key to getting back to where you want to be. You can do it, you just need to be resolute and believe in yourself! And always remember, help and support are available.

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