We've all had it happen...the perfect song comes to you at the perfect moment. These days, that song could come from the radio, overhead speakers at the mall or your own playlist set to shuffle.
A powerful example of this for me came after the death of my best friend. On the way to a memorial service for her, I decided to drive to the place described to me where her car accident was. My thoughts were very much on my friend, and I had not been paying attention to the radio. When I found the place described to me, It's Alright by Huey Lewis and The News filled the car stereo speakers. A smile came across my face, and I laughed to myself. She was there, letting me know...
I realized tonight I was having a very different experience with the spiritual synchronicity of song.
Yesterday, out of the blue, I decided to look "Wagon Wheel" (a song sketched by Bob Dylan) up on Apple Music. I listened to the Old Crow Medicine Show version, and I listened to the Darius Rucker version. I listened over and over...mostly to the OCMS version, because I think the harmonies are amazing!
One lyric kept sticking in my mind:
But I ain't going back to living that old life no more
These words of determination and hope found meaning with a lot of veterans I worked with. I'd pull that line out, most often for my vets struggling with addiction. For me, and hopefully for them, it was a promise of moving forward and leaving behind that old life that no longer served good purpose.
Over and over I listened. Over and over I sang "but I ain't going back to living that old life no more..."
So today, I happened upon an old journal. For the last couple of weeks, my therapist has been curious about recurring life themes and not-so-subtlely suggest I look back at writings from my past and highlight familiar thought patterns. Seeing the journal reminded me of her curiosity, so I picked it up and took it with me.
A few hours later, I decided to crack it open. Checking the dates, this journal began in 2002 and ended in 2011. I started to read, and was shocked. In a text message to my wife, who's traveling currently, I said:
I am living much the way I did ten years ago...the financial worries, depression, anxiety, irritation, negative self talk, lack of confidence...
My ever brilliant wife's response was, "Why are you living that life? You can let go..."
Letting go...sounds like something I've heard a lot recently from someone very dear to me.
I responded to my wife:
The irony is that the past couple of days have foreshadowed the much needed change that will come from this realization tonight. The foreshadowing came through my resonance with Wagon Wheel lyrics...but I ain't going back to living that old life no more.
For the first time in my life, the spiritual synchronicity of song foretold what was to come, instead of capturing my attention in the moment.
I have to wonder how many times that happens to all of us, when we aren't truly listening. How many messages are we missing because we are not paying attention?
In a recent conversation, I made the point that so many times, we throw our hands up and look skyward while screaming "Give me a sign!"
In that conversation, I shared the joke about the man whose house was surrounded by flood water. A neighbor came by in a big truck and offered to take the man to safety. The man said, "God will take care of me!"
As the water reached the second story of the house, a boat came by and the people in the boat offered to evacuate the man, but he said, "God will take care of me!"
By the time the water was almost completely covering the roof, a rescue helicopter flew by. The crew offered to rescue the man, and once again, he said, "God will take care of me!"
The man drowned.
He goes up to talk to God. He says, "God! I trusted you! Why didn't you save me??
God said: "I sent a truck, a boat, and a helicopter for you. What more do you want?
The point I made during the conversation is that it is not adequate for us to ask for signs (guidance) but rather, we must ask for signs that we understand!
If I had paid close attention to how that one line from a song was resonating with me, I would not have been so surprised to see big life issues that have waned, in the pages of my journal.
Pay heed to those niggling lyrics that get stuck in your head. You may be getting some hints as to your path forward.
For me, I'm trusting the spiritual synchronicity of song to bring me the hints, to bring me the clues just when I need them. Even if when I need them is sooner than I expect.