this IS it
don't settle for anything less than butterflies

the resolution


I heard this song for the first time a few months ago and I quickly blew it off as just a catchy tune. Yesterday, I revisited Jack's Mannequin's "The Resolution" and realized how absolutely perfect and fitting the lyrics are for what's happening in my life now.I don't know about you, but when I hear a song I think to myself, How does this apply to my life? Yes, that's incredibly self-centered but it's very useful for relating to the song. In listening to "The Resolution, I found that it could have been written about my life at this very moment -- how wonderful is that?! Something to think about when reading to lyrics below: when listening to this song, I think of the "you" as negativity or negative thoughts.


There's a lot that I don't know
There's a lot that I'm still learning
But I think I'm letting go to find my body
 it's still burning

 And you hold me down
And you got me living in the past
Come on and pick me up
Somebody clear the wreckage from the blast

I'm alive
I don't need a witness
To know that I survived
I'm not looking for forgiveness
I just need light
A light in the dark
s I search for a resolution

And the bars are finally closed
So I try living in the moment
'Til the moment, it just froze
And I felt sick and so alone

I can hear the sound
Of your voice still ringing in my ear
I'm going underground
But you'll find me anywhere I fear


I'm alive
I don't need a witness
To know that I survived
I'm not looking for forgiveness
I just need light
A light in the dark
s I search for a resolution



So, this song really speaks to me on a number of levels. First of all, like all of us, I am still learning. There's so much about life I don't know and I'm struggling daily to figure it all out. It's an inspiring, soul-searching process, but it's amazingly fulfilling. Today I received a great quote from Real Simple in which Lucy Maud Montgomery says, "It's such an interesting world. It wouldn't be half so interesting if we knew it all already, would it? There'd be no scope for imagination then..."

As I mentioned, when I think of "you" in the song, I think of negativity. The lyrics "you hold me down/you got me living in the past" really hit home for me when I think about them in this context. When I first heard the song, I thought to myself, "Who is holding me back? Who is forcing me to look in my mental rearview mirror?" And then I realized: it's me! The negativity in me always holds me back and causes me to look backward, to long for things that were never all that wonderful or to crave things I never ever had.

Not too long ago, I went through a pretty rough time in my life. I desperately wanted someone to "pick me up" and "clear the wreckage from the blast," but that's not how life works. While, of course, I have wonderfully supportive friends and family who helped me through the rough times, it was (and always will be) up to me to pick myself up, dust myself off, and get back out into life. Which is why I love the lines "I'm alive/I don't need a witness/to know that I've survived." I only need myself to know that in this moment I am alive. To live your life, you don't need witnesses to tell you how terrible the situation was or how lucky you are to have lived through it. You -- and only you -- know how hard your personal struggle was and only you can recognize how lucky you are to have come through it and to have learned from it. No matter how often someone says, "You're so lucky! It could have been so much worse," only you will be able to convince yourself that you do have something to be thankful for in your life.

I also believe, in life, we forgive ourselves. No matter what someone else says -- "It's okay" or "Don't worry about it" or "I forgive you" -- the only way to truly overcome your emotions of guilt or pain are to forgive yourself. Other people can say they forgive you, but only you can really forgive you. This might sound isolating and go against that whole idea that "no (wo)man is an island," but think about it. Even if someone says they forgive you, you don't necessarily feel better. You need to forgive yourself for whatever you've done. Once you can do that -- and I think I'm getting there with myself -- you can truly be a positive person.

So, now we come to the chorus, and I must ask: what is your resolution? No, I'm not talking about the New Year's kind. I'm talking about the "process or act of resolving." What do you want to resolve in your life? What do you need to do that? I think Jack's Mannequin states it pretty well by saying "I need light/light in the dark as I search for the resolution." We all need light, positivity, inspiration, in some form. Whether it be a new-found positive attitude or the uplifting spirits of our friends and family, we all need something to get us through, to help us resolve whatever it is we need to resolve in life. This is a pretty question, but give it some thought: what is your resolution? (Just so you know: mine is live happily ever now, being positive in this present moment.)

The next stanza really hits home for me. "And the bars are finally closed/So I try living in the moment/'Till the moment, it just froze/And I feel sick and so alone," the lyrics go. About six months ago, I began working on myself and, after many rigorous and emotionally draining therapy sessions, I realized that one of the main problems in my life was drinking. If I wanted things in my life to change, if I wanted all of the pain to stop, I had to stop drinking. The bars, for me, were closed. So I started focusing on the moment. I read The Power of Now. I learned all about what it means to be present, to be there, really there, in life without a drink in hand. I felt good. I felt happier. I was, slowly but surely, getting better. Until I looked around and realized that I was pretty much alone. While all my friends were at the bar, I was in my apartment, alone. When my family was drinking, laughing and enjoying themselves, I was standing there, sober. Though there were a few wonderful and sober people in my life, there was a hole, an emptiness, where my old life -- filled with boisterous bars and silly, sloppy stumblings and hysterical, hazy recollections of the previous night's mistakes -- had been. My moment, for a time, felt empty. After over a decade of partying like I thought I was a rock star, I didn't know what to do with my weekends or myself. For so long, drinking had defined me. So there I was, sober and starting to feel sane again, but I felt frozen in time, as if everything had just stopped. Or, rather, I had stopped and everyone around me, with their plans and parties and late nights, kept right on moving.

And that's where this part comes in: "I can hear the sound/Of your voice ringing in my hear/I'm going underground/But you'll find me anywhere I fear." Remember, I'm thinking of "you" as "negativity." As I spent night after night alone in my apartment, refusing to attend events I knew would be no fun without a alcohol-filled glass in my hand, I could literally feel negativity creeping in. It opened the door silently, like any experienced intruder would, and sat down beside me on the couch. It whispered to me, in my own voice, "Who do you think you are? Why are you doing this to yourself? Go out. Have fun. You're missing out on life." It taunted me and tempted me, laying out the (few) happy memories of my time spent drinking like pretty, expensive jewels. Sparkling and winking at me, I wanted to try them on. It was hard to push them away and firmly say, "No, thank you." Sometimes, negativity would sneak up on me and say, "You know all this happiness stuff you're trying?" I would set down The Power of Now or How To Be Happy, Dammit and sigh as negativity continued, "All of this positivity is bullshit. It doesn't work. It's just a temporary fix. You know you've always been a downer, a depressive, a sad and sullen and sassy little girl. That's who you are. You can't change who you are."

I'm sure you've been there, sitting alone, on the verge of feeling unhappy, and negativity has crept up on you. It does that. It's crafty and sneaky like that. I managed to push away those thoughts all of the nights I was sitting alone, answering drunk dials from friends and thinking to myself, "Why am I here alone while they're having fun?" But they are never really gone for good. I feel like negativity is a disease, like alcoholism, that can never fully be gone once you are diagnosed with it. I was, and probably always will be, a negative person. But I don't have to indulge those thoughts. I don't have to give into my whims of whining. No matter what negativity tells me, I can become a more positive person. I can change. In fact, I already have. (Take that, negativity!)

Clearly, I relate to this song on a very personal level, but I think it's the type of song that almost anyone can relate to. We all have resolutions. We all have negativity that we desperately want to push away. I hope, like me, you have gotten something out of these lyrics and I hope they have somehow inspired you to live a more positive, more present life.


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Lucy Maud Montgomery is an intriguing example. Her books about the life and spunky personality of Anne of Green Gables are inspiring.

Songs often say what we feel but cannot put into words. You have done such a good job here defining many things about negativity vs. positivity. I think we're all made up of each, but it is that balance that defines us. I strive to be mostly positive even in negative circumstances. It is a thing many work on for a lifetime, but that is ok. If we ever fully "arrived," well what we do next??

: )

Liara - I agree. It was very fitting to find her enlightening quote in my in-box this morning.

Karen - Good point. Lyrics often express what we cannot (which is why so many couple have a song that is special to them). And I agree, balance is so important. There will always be good. There will always be bad. The question is: how do we balance the two and encourage the good thoughts to win out more often then not? This is tricky and what I'm trying to work on every day. I'm not sure if we every fully arrive. To me, it seems like finding balance is a constant process, but, like every process, it's a great one filled with many opportunities to learn. It's about the process, not the product, of our lives.

"I just need light. A light in the dark. As I search for a resolution." I like that a lot.
Each one of us have positivity and negativity inside of us, our goal is to help the positive part wins as often as possible.
Thank you,
Giovanna Garcia
Imperfect Action is better than No Acton

Thanks for this post. I appreciated the vulnerability of it, and it was inspiring to me how you were able to see the idea "I'm a negative person" from a 30,000-ft. perspective and let it pass by without latching onto it.

LOVE Jack's Mannequin. I'm seeing them with the Fray this summer and i CANNOT wait! I take it you are also a fan of Something Corporate?

Giovanna - I agree. We all need to work on having the positive side win out more than not!

Chris - Thanks for commenting. It was actually kind of difficult for me to put some of that out there so I appreciate your acknowledgement of that.

Shannon - That's awesome! And, yes, I'm a big fan of Something Corporate as well. :)

Finding correlations between what we observe in life and ourselves seems natural to me; I do it, too. I love your take on forgiveness. It really isn't about receiving it from someone else. It's actually a gift we give: to ourselves as well as to others. Thank you for sharing this.

Really enjoyed reading this post. I am a much more content person when I'm in balance with the world. However, when it comes to creativity I don't mind tilting somewhat (LOL!). I absolutely agree with your take on foregiveness - there is no way you can be balanced - in a tilting when it's necessary kind of way - without giving and receiving foregiveness. (I'm no saint). Again, loved reading this post.

FWQ - Thanks for stopping by. I'm so glad you enjoyed reading the post. I agree - when it comes to creativity, I think I allow myself to tilt a bit too. Sometimes it's absolutely necessary.

Julie - I definitely agree with the idea that forgiveness is something we have to do for ourselves. It seems like it should come from someone else, but the only way we can truly be forgiven is if we forgive ourselves. Thanks for coming by PP! :)

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