My all time favorite song is Vienna by Billy Joel. Every time it begins playing, I feel the need to sink into my chair, close my eyes, and soak in all of its goodness and wisdom. Over the years I have learned a few lessons from the lyrics that I would like to share with you. Feel free to pause here and listen to Vienna if it’s been a minute for you, then come back.
- “Slow downnnn, you’re doing fine”. These words can be applied to every single one of us, and in many areas of our lives. Here’s a gentle reminder: Healing takes TIME; Oftentimes, a very frustrating amount of it. But you are going to get there, and there is so much to be learned along the way that you are meant to experience. I know too well how easy it can be to get caught up in anxieties, what-if’s, and should-haves. But what really happens is we miss out on the present by stressing out over the future. Slow down, you are literally doing fine!
- “Take the phone off the hook and disappear for a while. It’s all right, you can afford to lose a day or two”. Consistency is great, but so is flexibility. We truly need a balance of both in life. It’s okay to take time off, switch up your routine, or not be working towards a goal 24/7. When it comes to recovery, it’s impossible to be perfect. In fact, the healthiest thing we can do may be to take a step back from perfectionism. It’s okay to take a day off of school, work, or any other stressor in your life. Trust me, you can afford it. It may actually pay you back.
- “You’re so ahead of yourself that you forgot what you need”. I think our minds like to distract us from the raw and real sides of us. So much so, we create tasks and situations that distract from truth. In my own journey to healing, my anxiety propelled me into every future possibility. When I hear these words, I think back on what I really needed at that time, which was emotional and physical safety, and basic self-care. Ask yourself, am I using distraction to cope with something? What do I actually need right now?
This song reminds me that the nature and beauty in life comes from growing, learning and experiencing. Life would have no purpose if we already had it all figured out. The truth is, no one has figured it out yet, and neither should you! If you are feeling stressed or discouraged in your healing journey, take a second to zoom out for a bigger perspective (maybe give Vienna a listen to help you do so). Create some space between yourself and the heavy parts in your life and recognize that you don’t have to carry it all at once. We are all simply doing the best we can on the bumpy path we are on. The nature of life is to figure it out as we go, and we are exactly where we need to be right now.