Letters to Little One

Breathe in the Now

Dear Little One,

Sometimes I struggle with anxiety. And when it hits, there are times I understand why and times I haven’t the slightest idea. I’m working on it, but sometimes it still feels bigger than me.

I’m not sure if this is something you’ll struggle with. I hope not. Though I feel as though we all do in some from, be it with anxiety or healthy doses of nerves and worry. Regardless of where you stand, I hope you know you can talk to me, and that you’re going to be okay.

Right now, I’m reading this book called OCD, the Dude & Me and in it the main character has OCD which is heightened when she gets overwhelmed. And while she can do little in the way of stopping her brain from initially becoming overwhelmed, she describes a technique on how to cope from there. She says that sometimes we’ll worry about the future and sometimes we’ll worry about the past, and in that worry we’ll send ourselves to those places, thus disconnecting ourselves from the present and making it much harder to calm down. To counteract this, she says her therapist tells her to breathe. Breathe and put your hand over your heart so you can feel it beating. Because that breath and those steady beats, those are now. They are your proof that you are here, now. You are no longer in the past and not yet in the future, so stop worrying about then and there. Take comfort in what you have now and move forward.

Keep breathing, Little One, and I’ll do the same.

See you soon.

Letters to Little One

Bird Set Free

Dear Little One,

The great thing about music is that it finds a way to tell you things you already know, but in a way that finally makes sense. I suppose this goes for all art really, which is why I love it so much and constantly feel the need to share it with you.

Today I bring you “Bird Set Free” by Sia. She is one of the most artistic and unique musicians I’ve ever heard, and it is my hope that she continues creating for a long time. I fell in love with this particular song the moment I heard it, as it came to me on a day that I needed it more than I knew.

The chorus goes:

I don’t care if I sing off key

I’ll find myself in my melody

I sing for love

I sing for me

I’ll shout it out like a bird set free.

The premise of the song, or what I understand about it, is that we all have a voice or a “scream” inside ourselves, and throughout our lives we’ve either been prevented sharing it or were too afraid to use it. This fear stems from the voice’s potential to be a weapon. To the world, it is a weapon that could speak terrifyingly necessary truths. To us, it is a weapon that could leave us far more vulnerable than we feel comfortable with.

This is what I love about the chorus.  Leading up to it Sia explains that the voice we are trying to hide is eating us alive and that holding onto it is preventing us from truly living.

For me, I’m very aware of all of the things I keep hidden inside; the fear of judgement or imperfection can be crippling. But what I love about this song is that it encourages you to share your voice even if it’s not perfect, because the fact is, you’re the one who needs to get it out. It shouldn’t matter what other people think of it because they weren’t the ones suffering in silence for so long.

She ends the chorus with perhaps the most meaningful line, a promise to not only speak her voice, but to shout it. To free herself from the cage she’s been in, whether it be stranger made or self-built, and fly into the world anew.

I hope you find this song when you too need it most.

See you soon.