I am a great fan of great writing. I am also a great fan of great lyrics. I am often these days astounded by the lame-ass lyrical content of pop hits. Maybe it really is just all about the bass? Maybe no one actually listens to the words? Or cares? Maybe it’s just me?
Words are my jam.
Which is why I am a big fan of John Mayer. He also jams on words. Not always mind you (Love On The Weekend?) but enough to convince me that he thinks. He crafts. He cares about his message.
And on this note allow me to insert an little aside here: one of the best lyricists I know is Thomas Wade. He is also one of the best inspirational writers on the planet. Check out his page on Facebook “Thomas Wade Healing Page”. Read his words. Absorb them. They just might transform your life. Or at the very least help get you through the day.
Okay … back to Johnny. On his latest album he’s got a song called “You’re Gonna Live Forever In Me.” The lyrics are brilliant and the message profound. Because if I ask the question “What is the definition or true love?” I know I’ll get a million answers. But the message in this ballad is simple: no matter what the outcome, no matter whether our love lives or dies, no matter whether you broke my heart or I yours or we just drifted apart … you WILL live forever in me.
“Parts of me were made by you.”
We are all impacted by the people we love. We are altered. Changed. We grow. We learn. Parts of them become parts of us. And no matter how the love affair ends those parts are still important. They still exist. They make us who we are today, even if if the person who facilitated them is long gone.
“Life is full of sweet mistakes and love’s an honest one to make.”
Even if it ends up being a mistake, LOVE is worth it. Love is worth the pain and the risk and the heartache and the possibility of betrayal and anguish. It is ALWAYS worth it. So never, ever be afraid of making a mistake in the name of love. Because parts of you will change and you will change parts of those you love. And that is life’s journey. The journey WILL continue until its end. Love will not end the journey, or kill the journey or destroy you and the journey. Even when it is yanked from your soul like a brutal amputation it will not kill you. Not if you allow it to teach you instead.
“And when the pastor asks the pews for reasons he can’t marry you, I’ll keep my word and my seat.”
Yes. Yes. A thousand times yes, how I love this line.
Because this line speaks to absolute true, selfless, altruistic love in its purest form. You’re sitting in a church watching your beloved take vows with someone else and you accept it. You’re okay with it. You can even honour it.
Because they are going to live forever in you. Even married to someone else their love and what they taught you will live forever in you. The experience you shared together will live forever in you. The love you gave and received will live forever in you.
And that’s the thing, isn’t it? Nothing lives forever. NOTHING. Not people, not plants, not doggies or even stars.
But maybe love does?
Maybe earthy relationship love, the kind we vow to and promise for and wax lyrical about does not. Not always, anyway.
But maybe if we stop confusing love with ownership and start accepting love as a gift much like a sunny day – not guaranteed to last but glorious when it shines on us – we can take love’s lesson with us. And we can continue to love even when we are hurt, crushed, abandoned and devastated. We can continue to BELIEVE in love.
It does live forever in us. Every ounce of love we have given and received lives forever in us. Even when the parameter and physical manifestation of that love changes, the love itself continues to shape us. Even define us.
It’s a beautiful thing. When we choose it to be.
Now go listen to John. And then read Tom. They will teach you things you never knew you needed to learn.
And to all the men I’ve loved before (hey, should that be a song lyric?) – YES. You’re going to live forever in me.