Law of Illusion

I wrote earlier this month about Lilith Fair.  Since then I have been spending a lot of time, mostly in the car, listening to Sarah McLachlan’s latest CD – Law of Illusion

This is a pretty intense CD.  For those of you unfamiliar over the last few years she has broken up with her husband.  From what I gather, he cheated on her.  Ouch.  One of her gifts as a lyricist and musician is to really put it all out there, some of the most honest, raw emotion I have encountered.  This disc is no exception.  I can feel the pain and recovery of her experience.  There are 3 songs in particular that really resonate with me.  NOT my current situation – but the kind you can relate to some part of your life.  If you have had any relationship – romantic, friend, family, etc.  All three get me choked up when I listen to them.

Awakenings is the first song on the album.  The story of meeting, falling in love, working hard, being hurt and finally walking away.  Holy shit who hasn’t been here?!  Although – I can honestly say I don’t have many experiences of this in my past.  I tended to be the one in the relationship that walked away when things moved out of the Infatuation stage and got real.  I’ve really only had 3 serious relationships with men.  Just 2 of them I would consider my equal (i.e. – educated, focused, goal-oriented, and – oh yeah – EMPLOYED!!)  Now married to one of them.  The first really bad break-up I had was the first of 3 – I thought I was in love.  It was the first time I really felt that feeling with someone.  I found out he was cheating, he said he couldn’t be tied down, like a butterfly.  WTF?!  A butterfly???  HOW did I ever see anything in this guy?  Ever?!  The bad part was I felt so strongly for him – that when I found out what was going on, and dumped all his stuff by the entrance to my apartment building – I spent 2 days in bed crying.  Calling every single girlfriend I knew sobbing.  I got over it.  I would still beat myself up with the how did I ever allow that to happen?  The lyrics in this song that crack me over the head every time –

I’m not the girl I was but what have I become?
I’m not so willing any more to bend
Still pleasing and conceding
but I’m not gonna lose myself again

Not going to lose myself again – that’s for fucking sure!

My second favorite is Forgiveness – which isn’t really about forgiving – but the Hell No you are not off the hook!  The deception of love and attention and caring that isn’t really there.  This is kinda the slow, ballad-like version of I Will Survive or Single Ladies.  My favorite verse –

You ask for forgiveness
you’re asking too much
I have sheltered my heart in a place you can’t touch
I don’t believe when you tell me your love is real
‘Cause you don’t know much about heaven boy
if you have to hurt to feel

I’m really good about sheltering my heart.  With everyone.  I’m either way too trusting too early or hold back too long.  It’s still hard for me to be completely honest and “naked” with close people in my life.  My husband and a handful of girlfriends come to mind.  It chokes me up just writing this.  Damn those abandonment issues!

I’ve been listening to those 2 songs on repeat multiple times nearly every day.  Although neither of those scenarios is a part of my life right now – it feels healing to my past to experience the emotion pain.

The last song, I’ve really only picked up in the last 2 weeks.  So you wake up, you walk away, leave the baggage behind (or try to)…what’s next?  Self forgiveness, compassion, healing and moving on.  To the place you are ready to let someone back into your heart.  Rivers of Love – and it is a choice.  To either wallow in self-pity and be stuck in life and love.   Or to let go.  I have images of chains breaking away, pressure removed from my heart, and the kinds of tears that release those last bits of sadness, fear and loathing.  This is the whole song –

There’s a tunnel that leads to the rivers of love
The sides make you bleed ‘til your white as a dove
Don’t bother to bring all the baggage you cling to
The porter will free you before you come through
The doorway that cleanses the darkness that mends
It’s easy to smile in the end…

And it all comes down to leaving it all behind and moving on
To the rivers of love
And never be lonely again
How long have you waited? How long ‘til you drown?

The rules and directions the twists and corrections
Take tolls on the highs we still strive ‘til we die
To seek out the one love-the one that we dream of
The one may be there with you everyday
Alone and untethered and free of all ties
Free since the day you first cried

And it all comes down to leaving it all behind and moving on
To the rivers of love
And never be lonely again
How long have you waited? How long ‘til you drown?
How long have you waited? How long ‘til you drown?

The song feels so freeing.  At the same time there is that sting, the reminder, that if you don’t choose to move on – your fate is inevitable.  The power of choice is in your own hands.

These 3 songs will be added to my list of poignant Sarah McLachlan songs of all times.  Maybe one day I’ll tell you all about Angel.

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