Make music out of the sounds that life presents

Way back when humans listened to music without Spotify, AirPods, or smartphones.

In those BSP (before smartphone) days, people would actually get off their tooshies (the medical term for the gluteal area) and walk over to a thing called a stereo to adjust the sound using something called an equalizer. Crazy huh? Millennials reading this are already distractedly Googling all of this to verify I am not spinning tall tales.

Let’s use the equalizer analogy as we consider what music we play for ourselves today.

Treble represents the positive in life – the beautiful moments of each day, the practice of gratitude, and the people and experiences that make us grateful. All that sustains us will be treble.

Bass, meanwhile, represents the negative – things that stress us, things that cause us to worry, fear, and which bring on anxiety.

Yes, life does give us a starting material for the music we hear, but it is our decision of how we adjust the equalizer that makes the difference between symphony and cacophony.

“Woe is me” is not a reflection of the orchestra but is a reflection of that person’s inability to lower the bass so that treble can ring.

And if treble weren’t easy to tune-up, the majority of media even exist. Regurgitating the same bad news, knowing humans will consume it over and over and over. In those rare cases of treble amongst so much bass, you would never hear a “feel good” story repeated one day to the next on the 10 p.m. news.

“Now to follow up on that incredible tale of the boy who raised $10,000 for his classmate with cancer from yesterday. We thought we would take another look at this tale since we felt it was so important for our city.”

Nope. But crime, natural disasters, political squabbling attract attention day after day. I think our own internal “news feed” plays out similarly. Much easier to regurgitate and perseverate on the bass in our lives.

My friends, play with the equalizer today. Play with that innate ability to attune to treble and let the positive dictate your thoughts and actions. Bass will still be there, but it will exist in balance with and in the context of the treble sound. You might even appreciate new and more constructive angles on the bass sounds by not focusing on them.

Today, life will not give us treble or bass. No, today we get to choose how to manipulate the equalizer and make music out of the sounds that life presents.

A simple exercise for those interested in tuning their equalizer

Write down three things that have most bothered/worried you in the last week. These are your bass.

Now, take those three things and come up with the opposite statement: “I am worried about my grandmother’s health,” becomes “I am grateful to have my grandmother in my life.”

Today, as you go about the day, when you find yourself beginning to think in “bass,” simply adjust the equalizer and turn that worry into its “treble” opposite.

Anthony Fleg is a family physician who blogs at Writing to Heal.

Image credit:

Leave a Comment

Most Popular

✓ Join 150,000+ subscribers
✓ Get KevinMD's most popular stories