Last week, popular animated series Steven Universe took a moment to share an important message that doesn’t get a lot of play in children’s entertainment (or any other sort of entertainment, for that matter): that negative thoughts and negative emotions aren’t inherently bad. That they’re something we all experience, and the important thing is how we react, not that they exist.
“Mindful Education” tells a story that won’t make a lot of sense if you aren’t already steeped in Steven Universe’s mythology, but the gist is that one character, Connie, hurt someone by accident. Her self recrimination is causing her all sorts of problems, so one of her mentors, Garnet, helps her meditate through the experience. In the process, Garnet teaches her, and by extension us, the basics of mindfulness.
In the video above, Garnet (voiced by British singer Estelle) puts her advice to music in the song “Here Comes a Thought.” She begins by laying out a situation most of us will find familiar.
Here comes a thought
That might alarm you
What someone said
And how it harmed you
Something you did
That failed to be charming
Things that you said are
And, oh, you’re losing sight, you’re losing touch
All these little things seem to matter so much
That they confuse you
Garnet goes on to remind Connie that the thought that she’s ruminating on is only a thought, and it’s okay. “We can watch it go by,” she explains — a simple lesson, but a powerful one. Learning to accept your thoughts without judgement, acknowledge them, and let them pass by is a huge part of mindfulness meditation, a practice that’s potentially very beneficial.
And thanks to Steven Universe, we now have a catchy song to refer back to whenever we need a reminder that we don’t need to live inside unhappy thoughts. And a pretty great mantra, to boot.
“I’ve got nothing, got nothing, got nothing, got nothing to fear.
I’m here, I’m here, I’m here.”