I recently spent a luminous weekend with one of my very dearest friends. a soul-sister, travel buddy, fellow music enthusiast, lover of weird British men and pine trees. she’s rooted and strong, brave and true, and together we saw U2 at Soldier Field in Chicago, on a breezy summer evening, while the fireworks flashed over Lake Michigan.
there are things that make you feel alive. there are things that fill your chest with light, warm light spreading through you, like liquid gold, purifying the dust and debris of the everyday, reminding you with inescapable surety: THERE IS GOODNESS AND MAJESTY IN THIS WORLD. IT’S ALL THERE FOR YOU. TAKE IT. TAKE IT, AND BE GRATEFUL.
that night, we felt it. we cried. we screamed. we were wide awake. we believed in the kingdom come, when all the colors will bleed into one, bleed into one. in a world so full of weariness, terrible violence, and pain, we felt that One Love that binds us all together, reminding us that home is a place within. our hearts grew bigger. what a feeling.
it was hard to come down from that high. how to go back to the ordinary? the everyday? when all you want is those brilliant lights, those soul-stirring words, to carry you to heights beyond your obligations, your failures, your endless tasks that are yet undone?
you hold it. you take time to look at that doorway that has opened in your heart, and you leave it unlocked. it will let the air in. let the memories of that brilliant spirit you felt flood in at just the right moment, inspiring you anew, reminding you of the goodness, of the majesty.
the point is this: we have influence over our energetic landscape. we do not have to take our circumstances lying down. of course, there will be great highs and deep lows. but in the ordinary, in the everyday, we can make the choice to rise up into Love. that’s what eases pain. that’s what sheds light on our souls.
God has given us all the seeds of deep joy. I was shaken awake by light and sound, by words that swim to the bottom of my heart and touch what’s sleeping there. in the days that come, I’m going to ask myself these questions, every now and again…because it’s so easy just to sleep, and we all need a little help on the road….to get to that place where deep joy is waiting, where “adventure” isn’t just a word…
what sleeps in you?
what feels dead, disappointed, unmotivated, stale?
what actions would help to heal those feelings?
what fills your spirit with light and makes you want to dance, sing, shout for joy?
what keeps your heart awake?
There’s a song: an anthem, fierce with hope, called Bad. Before he began to sing it, Bono said to the thousands:
“Whatever it is we don’t need…we let it go. Let it go.”
And we held up our hands, and we screamed with the music, and I swear you could feel the lightening of thousands of hearts. A little bit of all our pain, fear, resentment, anger, floated up with song and faded into the summer night. There was a great feeling of celebration. Of freedom. We had been released.
Let’s ask the hard questions. Let’s look for liberation. Let’s release ourselves. Let’s stay awake together.
what lightens your heart?
what brings you back to Love?
what makes you free?
italicized lyrics taken from Bad, One Love and I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For by U2