Saturday, January 05, 2013

Poignancy In An Unexpected Place ...

The other day, in need of some get-me-goin' music, I wandered over to my CDs (yes, I still own CDs) and randomly pulled one off the shelf.

A collection of Madonna's greatest hits. GHV2. The second one.

OK. Madonna's good for some pep.

I popped it in and got about my getting.

And this morning, I hit Play on it again and dialed up "The Power of Goodbye."

The song has resonated with me from the first time that I heard it. But today, I heard parts of it differently. And I heard a word in the lyrics that I'd never noticed before. Or perhaps I had, but I'd forgotten.

The full lyrics of the song are:

Your heart is not open so I must go
The spell has been broken, I loved you so
Freedom comes when you learn to let go
Creation comes when you learn to say no

You were my lesson I had to learn
I was your fortress you had to burn
Pain is a warning that something's wrong
I pray to God that it won't be long
Do ya wanna go higher?

[Chorus:]

There's nothing left to try
There's no place left to hide
There's no greater power
Than the power of good-bye

Your heart is not open so I must go
The spell has been broken, I loved you so
You were my lesson I had to learn
I was your fortress

[Chorus 2:]

There's nothing left to lose
There's no more heart to bruise
There's no greater power
Than the power of good-bye

Learn to say good-bye
I yearn to say good-bye


I'm fascinated that I've listened to it so many times but my brain heard parts of it differently today. Or parts of it stood out to me differently today.

Creation comes when you learn to say no ...
Ain't that the truth? I had devoted so much energy to something so fruitless, when I finally put an end to it, all sorts of things shifted in my life.

Pain is a warning that something's wrong ...
Which we all know. But I had so thoroughly convinced myself that the pain of saying goodbye would be too much to bear that I was opting for the pain of the present instead. It turned out, the pain of the present was worse. Saying goodbye was difficult, but in the end, it was a relief.

There's no more heart to bruise ...
I still have my heart, fully and intact. But I had reached the end of what I was willing to justify as OK. In that situation, there was nothing more I was willing to let go on. Other than an ending.

But the word that I don't remember having heard before?

Yearn.

I yearn to say goodbye.

Oh, did I. Many times. But I couldn't bring myself to do it until the day that I finally did. And it wasn't easy. I was literally shaking. But then it was done.

All of which is to say that in this beginning of a new year, if there is something you've been wanting to do – needing to do – but you haven't yet done it for fear of the pain or the change or any other reason we are all so exquisitely good at conjuring in order to justify staying stuck, may I encourage you to take a step?

I think women struggle more with this than men. Men are conditioned to pursue what they want, to take what they want. Women are conditioned to provide, to give, to lift others up, to put themselves last. Men are the aggressors. Women are the pacifiers. It's all very primal.

But I think we could all do well to move toward the middle.

Paradigm shift aside, take a step toward shifting that thing in your life that is woefully out of balance. Ask for what you need. Do the thing you yearn to do.

I'll join you. Let's go higher.


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