Love, Truth, and Music

My Values.

Honestly, my values are a huge part of who I am and they have a huge influence for what I want to do, and how I act in my everyday life. As a Christian, God is a huge part of my life. I strive to honor him through everything I do, through the way I act, through my language, through the way I treat other people…. everything. This said- I am NOT perfect. I make mistakes, and I know that. I believe God leads me. Actually I know that God leads me. I would not be at SMU without him. I am here solely because his purpose for me is to be here. I would not know myself nearly as well as I do without him. I sing for him. I get to sing for God. I am SO blessed by the people he has brought into my life. I am SO blessed to be where I am. I am SO blessed to have the opportunities that I do. Basically, I am just SO blessed.

I believe that love is one of the most important things in life. Can you imagine a life without love? It would be terrible. I’m not talking strictly romantic love. Although that Is something that I think is beautiful and something that one day I hope I will have – you can love people without being in love with them. I adore my friends. I want to treat them with love. I want to treat my professors with love. I want to treat random people walking down the street with love. I want to treat my craft of music with love. Call me crazy – but I believe that without love the world would be a depressing place to live in. In love comes respect, understanding and trust; and with respect and understanding and trust – you can develop a relationship with that person / group / thing . I believe that everyone should be treated in love- even if they don’t deserve it. Love brings life and light to the darkness of our souls and lights up our hearts for other people to see. You can bring a lot of good to someone by loving them when they don’t deserve it. Often times we ourselves don’t deserve it.

I believe that honesty and truth are two of the most important things in life (besides love). And that as a budding artist (and soon to be a therapist) I think is so important. One of my goals and objectives and great passions in life is to help others. It doesn’t matter what that means, whether I’m carrying something for someone, or listening to them talk about their day, or even their life story. It could just mean giving them a hug. or holding them while they cry. It could mean making them laugh and spending quality time. Sometimes it could even mean leaving them alone. Honesty and Truth are so important for that. I never want to lie to anyone, especially my friends. Even if the truth hurts, I think that you can phrase it in a way where it can be constructive criticism and not an attack on them as a person. I love receiving truth. I love it when people are honest with me and tell me BOTH my strengths AND my weaknesses. Because sometimes when we look at ourselves we can overlook one or the other of these things (or even both)

I believe that music is alive. It does something to your soul. When you look for it – you can tell who has music running through their head all day. You can tell if someone is dreaming up choreography. I think that is such an important part of the human creative process. Having truth and honestly and love while doing your craft is extremely important. You can’t feel it without emotion. If you love it, you can let the musicality run through you. You can feel it run through your body. When you have that much emotion, the only choice you have is to be honest. Honest in your presentation of the music. Honest in how your heart is at the time. Purely Honest.

I feel like this is one of the reasons that Music Therapy is so effective. Music puts you in a place where you have to be honest with yourself. It forces your body as well as your mind and your spirit to align as one and just to FEEL.

I value getting to know somebody for who they are. Nobody should have to pretend. This does NOT mean that I am best friends with everyone I meet or even that I get along well with everyone. It means I value Authenticity. Sometimes I wish I was more like so and so, or did something better like so and so. But at the end of the day … I am ME. and I LOVE being me. I think that its important to love being who you are and to accept yourself for your flaws and for your good attributes. Everyone has things to work on, some people have more to work on than others. Some have more to work on than they themselves even know. I don’t think you ever stop meeting yourself. Even though I know who I am fundamentally, I still find out new things every day. Like the other day I discovered that I need alone time. or that when I’m stressed I write stories. When I moved in with my roommate I discovered that I sleep talk ALOT more than I thought I did.

My Opera Workshop professor Hank Hammett said something to us once that I will never forget. Well actually, he says alot of awesome, quotable and inspiring things; Like “I will never expect you to be generic, but you must never expect that of yourself either” and “The world is a different place now than it was this morning” and “We have learned to guard ourselves and share our hearts with whom we choose”. But I think my favorite is this. “Be Bold. Be Fearless. Be Joyful. and Be Yourself!”

I could write a book on my values because they run into each other. But I think that this just about covers the basics.

I Corinthians 13:13    Now these three remain : Faith, Hope, and Love. But the greatest of these is Love.


About Haley Stead

Haley is a Music Therapy and a soprano Voice Performance major at SMU. Haley wants to influence people with her love for singing, her passion for helping people and her joy for life to make the world a better place.
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3 Responses to Love, Truth, and Music

  1. Taylor Gildea says:

    HALEY!!!!! I love this so much and it makes me miss u almost too much :( I absolutely loved reading this! I enjoy hearing ur voice in ur blog and its intereting to hear what you have to say :) Love u!!!!

  2. Ariana Hazery says:

    I really like the way you described love, how it is not just romantic love but it is in your relationship with friends, teachers, and how you can love music or the things that you do. Love isn’t so much an emotion as it is a choice. I feel like you have always had a really keen understanding of what love is, and it was great to read this.

  3. Tori says:

    I find the way that you describe music as truth to be extremely pertinent to our current culture. With music so easily accessible these days – iTunes, YouTube, etc – I think many people have “music running through their head all day”, and I agree that “this is such an important part of the human creative process”. I always have my headphones in and my iPod on when I am working in studio. The lyrics and melody of my music are what drive me and are sometimes what guide me in the decisions I make on a certain project. What you say about the authenticity of a song is also very powerful. I find that the music I can best relate to is that in which I feel the singer/instrumentalist is conveying their message whole-heartedly. Everyone has a story, a testimony, and people will respond to your story if it is spoken honestly and with intent. Haley, you mentioned that when you are stressed you write stories, and I know that you have a gorgeous voice to compliment them. Never cease to harness these moments of inspiration and I am confident that you will continue to succeed in your passion of helping others through the field of music.

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