Recommended Reading Soundtrack: Let Your Love Grow Tall by Passion Pit on Manners
It was a Saturday night at a popular karaoke bar, and I found myself getting geared up with the great abundance of songs offered by the designated “karaoke professionals.” Is that a real title? I couldn’t help myself- I actually went on stage and sang a specially chosen song from the Disney film, The Little Mermaid. And even though I totally put everyone to sleep with my mediocre interpretation, I had fun fulfilling several years’ worth of karaoke fantasies.
What am I trying to communicate here, you may ask? Well, keep reading.
The film Shallow Hal – pretty silly and not too complicated in its message. But simplicity aside, I actually took away something meaningful from the film which included Gwyneth Paltrow, who typically appears in waif like form, dressed up to be an obese woman.
In an interview that took place with Paltrow after the film was released, she talked about how she kept the fat suit on one day to see what it felt like to be an obese person in life. One of the things that she noticed was how people were afraid to make eye contact with her. And that experience yielded a feeling of loneliness and an understanding of how isolating it is to be extremely overweight in our modern culture. The world around us is pretty ego based, and the “judgment thing” can definitely make us feel alone or give cause to isolate ourselves so we don’t have to experience it from others.
Judgment, stigma- whatever it is that we fear, let’s face it. Somewhere in our lives we have given our power away to it and allowed that fear to hold us back from either doing what we love, are passionate about, or shield ourselves from experiencing our destiny- joy. But, there is this line in a U2 song that stood out recently during a monotonous drive home in rush hour traffic even though I’ve probably heard it a thousand times. The lyric is from the song Elevation, and it goes like this:
Can’t sing, but I’ve got soul.
The goal is Elevation.
With that line, flashbacks of embarrassing and exhilarating karaoke streamed through my mind. And there I was again, singing a song from The Little Mermaid on a Saturday night to a buzzed crowd that was waiting for something a little more “dance” inspiring. And so it goes, I can’t sing- but I’ve got soul, baby. In my head, Damon Albarn from Blur was next to me on stage in concert in Japan yelling, “Karaoke! Karaoke!” (Obscure live concert reference alert, I apologize!)
Acknowledging that you’ve got soul, baby!
It may seem like a little thing. The way we make choices based on what others will “think.” But truthfully there is no such thing as a “little thing.” All experiences are relevant to both our heart and our mind. Consciously connecting that mind with the heart requires a frank complexity in our self-created world of modern love. Acknowledging that you’ve got soul is an important step in reaching that goal. So, where have you shut out soul in your life in places that you have it?
Soul reaches beyond the technical. It is about heart. It is personified in our experiences with one another as we navigate a world of opportunity guaranteed to also spark fear. It’s worth it, to acknowledge the fear but not let it dictate your choices. You never know where you will end up.
In the famous words of Jimmy Rabbitte in the awesome (and sometimes inappropriate- excuse the bad language below, please!) film The Commitments about a group of talented Dubliners, AKA “The Blacks of Ireland,” come together to show that they’ve got soul-
“Soul is the music people understand. Sure it’s basic and it’s simple. But it’s something else ’cause, ’cause, ’cause it’s honest, that’s it. It’s honest. There’s no f*%$^#& bulls$%#. It sticks its neck out and says it straight from the heart. Sure there’s a lot of different music you can get off on but soul is more than that. It takes you somewhere else. It grabs you by the balls and lifts you above the shite.”
Ladies & Gents, Let’s Rock Big Love with some super soul! (I know you’re hiding some in there, somewhere)