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Sunday
Feb132011

The Truth About Love Songs

   What we have daydreamed about and yearned for has been right here all along. 

Unrequited, done me wrong, falling in, falling out, jilted and angry, dreamy and tender--love songs run the achy breaky gamut of emotions. They make us cry, they bring us joy, they make the hard heart tender and the tender heart harder. They represent mankind's struggle with love since the beginning of time and across all cultures and societies.

A few days ago I heard the remake of an old love song I listened to repeatedly many years ago when I was head over heels in love and couldn't imagine myself as being complete without that special someone. You know the one-- the perfect one, the one who is your soul mate, your twin flame, your raison d'etre.  The sun rises and sets in him, the moon revolves around him, all others pale in comparison to this one radiant love. The song took me back to those drama filled days, to the feelings I used to feel, to the pain of a love that never would be, to the despair, the longing, the yearning. And....it made me laugh. Now, if you had been by my side to see the depth of pain I experienced at the time, the many years it took to recover, you might think that to be an inappropriate, perhaps insane, or at the very least insensitive response. But I loved my reaction, and I'll tell you why.

Emotional pain, I've found, is an interesting thing. We think we are trying to avoid it yet at a very deep level, if we are honest, we can see that we crave it like children crave cookies. Not so good for us, yet we love the taste. Why? There's something about it that will teach us what we need to know about life. We know this deeply, unconsciously usually, and we seek it out. A very deep pain will either kill us or enroll us in the University of Truth, where the course of study may take a lifetime but the content is life changing.

Why do we continually look outside ourselves for fulfillment? If I finally have this or that, if I finally attain this or that, if I finally find him or her, if I finally arrive at the place I have always wanted to arrive, feel the feelings I always wanted to feel, finally find fulfillment. We grasp at the future, agonize over the perceived insufficiencies of the past and pin all our hopes on a day that never comes. Why does it never come? Because today is the only day we have. Now is the only time we have. This is the simple truth of existence which we overlook again and again. When we first see this we may experience the insight as resignation, disappointment. "Is this all there is?", we ask. That is, until we have a good look around in this new place called now, until we are silent and surrendered and at long last sense the presence of Love, our constant loyal companion, who lives here. Love sees us in all the raw truth of what we are, sees our faults, notices our self-serving behaviors, overlooks the fact that we ignore her presence most of the time and yet insists on loving us, on leaning into us until the sweetness at our core is reached. With awareness of this Love in our lives we are given the tenderness of a thousand mothers, the wisdom of a thousand masters, the passion of a thousand lovers. This one true Love fills us, blurs our boundaries, overflows into the world and changes the energy of everything.  

Love flows into our lives from the inside out, not the outside in. To meditate, to pray, or in whatever manner to be devoted to finding one's own sweet core is the only sane route to fulfillment. And when we are wise to this truth we laugh to realize that what we have daydreamed about and yearned for has been right here all along. Love is not something we acquire, love is what we are. The paradox is this: When we are able to contentedly sing and dance to the light of the moon all by ourselves, we are astonished to suddenly find love all around us. It is then and only then that the love songs we sing are true and good and lovely and strong.

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