The Complaining Chatterbox…
April 25, 2009, 9:54 pm
Filed under: The Chatterbox Club | Tags:

My mind seems to latch onto songs and lyrics. This hasn’t bothered me much in the past, and in fact I think it was actually something that helped me learn how to meditate. I easily slip into repeating a mantra; my mind is delighted to oblige. Repeat it long enough though, and my mind finally gives up. Then I glimpse and experience the peacefulness of the present moment… for a moment.

But when my mind grabs hold of the lyrics of a song and just runs with it, ad nauseum, I feel like I have no control. I feel like I am being controlled by my mind. To what end? Singing a song over and over again in my head seems like one of the most useless activities I could participate in… unless I were trying to memorize the lyrics, of course.

But the fact is, I don’t memorize lyrics. I just hum a tune and pointlessly repeat the lyrics that I do know, over and over again. I find myself doing this when I wake up in the middle of the night, first thing in the morning, while I brush my teeth, shower, make breakfast, do the dishes, feed horses, muck the paddock of horse poop, shop, work, exercise… it doesn’t seem to matter what I am doing, my mind can be off in its own little world, singing some song. Sigh…

The latest tune has been–no surprise here–I Dreamed a Dream, from Les Miserables, sung by Susan Boyle and watched by millions (like me) on youtube. Like many others, I was very moved by her singing, but being moved doesn’t mean I have to be possessed…enough is enough!

The bright side of becoming aware of this affliction is just that: I can become aware of it. And the moment I become conscious of it, I am able to step outside of it and experience a gap of no thought (NO SONG). At least for a second, and sometimes even several seconds. The contrast between the constant chatterbox of pointless singing and the steady peace of blissful silence is astounding.

I have yet to experience great joy in this silence, but along with the present moment, I am also making patience my friend.



You are too funny. I don’t usually get stuff like that stuck in my head. Mostly just a bad song now and again, but I hardly ever sing out loud no matter the song.

Maybe the key is to choose what to repeat in your head with more regularity? Maybe pick a mantra once a day first thing in the morning? be more disciplined? But then some bad song will come along and regain control. 😉

Comment by LatigoLiz

I hardly sing out loud either… and the world is probably a better place because of that!

Thanks for the good idea about *choosing* a mantra in the morning! I’m going to do that and see how it goes.

Comment by equiwolf

Gale ,thats it exactly !
Such a strange affliction, this music playing in the background. This is one of the songs….
‘Bright lights’ by Gary Clark jr.
The song is just ‘ok’ so I ‘m not sure why it got stuck in my head?
I think your stratagy (be aware of it) Gale is the only way to go. It helps to ease the anxiety though knowing someone else has experianced the same.
Still looking for ‘Kindling’…?

Comment by Benno

Yes, Benno, in my experience, resistance (to the singing) only amplifies it…
Good luck!

Comment by equiwolf

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