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“The best music is essentially there to provide you something to face the world with.”
- Bruce Springsteen -

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

#66 Gave it a Name by Bruce Springsteen

Your poison snake, your father’s genes, your mother’s abuse, your difficult life experiences, the culture that surrounds and pounds you from every which way. We’ve all been touched by the poison of the world outside of our control. Since the day of our birth, the waves of an interdependent reality bombard our shores.

Yet, sometimes we can forget that part of our existence. Who we are and what we do with our lives gets filtered through our own eyes of guilt and shame. We do it to ourselves and we do it to others as well. We become one dimensional, one thing, one awful thing and deem ourselves, or one another, unlovable.

Freedom from this guilt-ridden life lies in “[giving] it a name”, putting some kind of identifying mark on the sins that plague us. It requires diving in deep into the surrounding waters and realizing that we have been touched by a poison, a poison that swims through our bloodstream from birth until the day we die. Of course, we are responsible for what we ultimately choose to do with our actions. But we are not just one thing. We are not just a “wife beater”, a “killer”, a “child molester”, an “adulterer”, we are many more things. It is the poison that has driven us into the darker ways of the world. It is the poison that is never ceasing that leaves us feeling alone, fully responsible, and tossed about believing we only have our own strength and will to save ourselves.

By “[giving] it a name”, this poison inside can begin to lose its power. It can validate us as imperfect human beings, not making excuses for the wrongs we do, but lifting the debilitating shame that rides atop our sins. It can free us from our own inner prison and place us back into the sea of humanity alongside the rest of the world’s struggling souls. And from that place of acceptance, we can begin to heal…

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