On Fear, Healing & Music

Sarah McLachlan
Photo from www.sarahmclachlan.com/

“All the fear has left me now, I’m not frightened anymore…” –Fumbling Towards Ecstasy, Sarah McLachlan

I’ve been on a healing path for the past few years. For the most part, I have considered it to be an upward trajectory, but at times I am shocked by how the path suddenly veers, as it has recently. Although I had been feeling great, a nasty sinus infection took hold, a flare-up of my Sjogren’s Syndrome left me with painful, dry eyes, and the uncertainties of a new job all seemed to impact my balance. The painful losses experienced at the hands of Hurricane Sandy by those all around me on the East Coast are certainly present as well. While I am able to be incredibly grateful for my own safety and that of my family, the suffering of others and the earth weighs heavy on my heart.

It is at these times that I realize I must reach out to others for support, while also listening to the answers that come from within. To this end, I realized that I readily grasp for music as a form of respite and relief. The heavenly, healing quality of sound, teamed with soulful, heartfelt, human lyrics, speak to my inner self with clarity and kindness. This morning I knew I needed to hear the calming, validating words of one of my favorites, Sarah McLachlan. Her voice has been ringing in my ears for months with, “All the fear has left me now, I’m not frightened anymore.” This morning however, I realized that fear appears in many forms, and there may have been one that I had overlooked, as I instinctively perused my playlists and clicked on Sarah’s “Fear” to hear the following:

Morning smiles
like the face of a newborn child
innocent unknowing
Winter’s end
promises of a long lost friend
speaks to me of comfort
but I fear
I have nothing to give
I have so much to lose
here in this lonely place

tangled up in our embrace
there’s nothing I’d like
better than to fall
but I fear I have nothing to give
Wind in time
rapes the flower trembling on the vine
nothing yields to shelter it
from above
they say temptation will destroy our love
the never ending hunger
but I fear
I have nothing to give
I have so much to lose
here in this lonely place
tangled up in our embrace
there’s nothing I’d like
better than to fall
but I fear
I have nothing to give
I have so much to lose
I have nothing to give
We have so much to lose…

[From Fumbling Toward Ecstasya must-have CD in my humble opinion]

So many messages can be extracted from a piece of music, but what I have taken today from Sarah’s words is that fearing one’s inability to be enough, to do enough, to give enough is natural, but not necessarily healthy. We all do what we can, when we can. In this time when so many are in crisis, this serves as a helpful and comforting reminder for us all.

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