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My Song: "Shake it Out" by Florence + The Machine taught me to move forward

Joined: 11/28/2010
Posts: 2
I've always been a sucker for a song with deep lyrics. I love songs that are thoughtful. I love when artists sing each word with care and finesse; attempting to convey some sort of meaning or emotion. That's when music truly comes to life for me. However, when it comes to "Shake It Out" by Florence + the Machine, I find a whole new level of connection than I do with any other song.

I first heard this song when I was going through a rough time in my life. It was a time when problem after problem continually built up, none of them getting resolved fast enough. Financial burdens, balancing an array of part-time jobs (not only pay for college, but also help my family in general), losing friendships, breaking my knee, death of family members, and many other reasons had left me feeling anxious, tired, moody, and, above all, so overwhelmingly alone. My situation was not extraordinary by any means; my problems probably don't even compare to that of someone else in a far worst situation, but, for my small little world and me, they were rather huge.

I went day after day, feeling numb. I never cried or complained or showed much of any kind of emotion. Not because I was a strong person, mind you. Strong people are the ones that aren't afraid of their emotions. They confront them, head on. I was a coward; I was terrified of what would happen to me if I actually did let myself feel much of anything. So, I swallowed each emotion down with an occasional painkiller left over from my knee surgery and carry on with my overwhelming days.

I give so much credit to this song for helping me along. When I first heard this song, it was because they were playing it in my store almost all the time. I decided to go home and check it out for myself. I swear, I must of played that song a hundred times, carefully listening to the lyrics each and every time. It was the first time I really let myself cry in months. The whole song expressing how each dark memory, dark emotion can follow you and beat you until you have almost nothing left to give. You can be convinced by these dark feelings that there's nothing left. But the song reminds you, "It's always darkest before the dawn." You need to let go of these dark feelings and just keep going. Keep moving forward and don't let those dark thoughts hold you back. You keep trying towards something, even when the world seems to be dead set against you. You just take it slowly and keep making small steps forward.

I won't lie and tell you my life is better now, that mere minutes after I came to this epiphany my entire life changed around. No, I continue to face many of the same problems that I did then now. But now I realize that I have the strength to continue on. I have the strength in me to wake up every morning and face the world head on. Some days are harder than others. Some day's I wonder "Why is the world so against me?", but I always remember the world doesn't owe me any favors nor does it pity me. It's entirely up to me to work through each and every problem I face. The dark thoughts can occasionally come flooding back, but, instead of ignoring them, I pay attention to what demands to be felt. I acknowledge my emotions, rather than shoving them in a corner. Although it's painful at first, it's worth it in the end. I learned to let go of those horrible feelings, not harbor them. As is said in the song, "It's hard to dance with the devil on your back, so shake him off."
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