The Lyrics of Life
When I was a teenager, I loved to drive around in my car with friends and listen to music. We’d sing our favorite songs, and there were funny moments where we would catch each other singing incorrect lyrics, lyrics that we interpreted what we thought the song artist was singing or saying.
As parents, if we truly want to bring something new into this Life, we have to learn to leave people alone, our children included. What I mean by that is that we have to learn a new set of lyrics, the lyrics of Life, which allow people and Life itself, to be what they are and what it is and stop arguing and resisting that fact. That is not discounting the fact that children need guidance, because they do.
Here’s something to ponder. Let’s say a child grows up with a parent that loved to sing songs to them. Let’s specifically use the song “Leaving on a Jet Plane” as a song that was sung to a particular child growing up. Now let’s also say that the parent didn’t know the correct words to that song, and so they made up some of the words as they went along. That child learned to believe that that particular song had those particular lyrics.
Then sometime later in life, that same child is now with friends and they are driving in a car together. “Leaving on a Jet Plane” starts playing on the radio, and they all start singing the song together. One of the friends starts laughing at the one friend who is singing the incorrect lyrics. One of the other friends gets angry and starts yelling at the one friend and tells her to stop singing the song because she’s singing it wrong.
In a nutshell, that is the current story of life on planet earth. When Life comes along and brings us what we don’t want, whether it be something we don’t want to hear, fighting siblings, a demotion at work, a friend’s betrayal, we yell at Life (resist it) claiming that Life is singing the wrong lyrics because it doesn’t match our idea of how the song of Life should be sung. When all along, our very ideas of how we believe the song of Life should be sung, are borrowed ideas and beliefs and aren’t even truly our own, yet we defend and fight with them at all costs. Doesn’t that seem crazy to you?
For the purpose of questioning things as we do on this Blog, what if we were to find out that the whole problem, the whole pain of humanity, is that all negative reactions to what Life brings us in each and every moment are simply because we are listening to incorrect lyrics that are being sung to us in the very moment of that disturbance.
We think that the voice that is telling us to scream at another, to laugh at another, to harm another in word or action, is our true voice. Those incorrect lyrics belong to the past, and that past speaks for us when we don’t have our attention in the present moment. When we allow the past to speak for us, all it can do is perpetuate the old, hand-me-down life. The past has a very loud forceful voice and is also very full of certainty.
Living from the past is living in conflict with Life. All that can come from that kind of living is a constant battle with others. There will always be an accusation in an unwanted moment that others are singing the wrong lyrics, when truth be told, without proper understanding, one isn’t capable of singing any other lyric in any given moment other than the lyric they have learned to sing (from their specific past).
That girl who learned her mom’s version of “Leaving on a Jet Plane” could only sing the lyrics that she learned from her mom. We all do that, until we don’t, b
ut we can’t NOT do that until we agree to have something new guide us in the moment, instead of letting the past guide us for its sake.
Psychological pain only exists when we resist the true Lyrics of Life that are being ceaselessly sung to us in the present moment.
Exercise for the Week: See if you can catch yourself fighting with what Life has brought to you (an unwanted moment), whether it be your child doing something that you believe they shouldn’t be doing, or just simply watching the news. When you become aware that something in you is resisting the moment, release it and feel fully what is moving through you.
Image courtesy of: Felix Koutchinski on Unsplash