You Gotta Be, Desree

 

The year was 1995. I was on a fast, downward spiral on a very slippery slope of heartbreak and despair. I didn’t know how to hold my head up in all of it. I was barely breathing, barely living, and barely able to move. I was dying a slow, long, drawn out death and I didn’t care.

At the time, I was also trying to figure out who in the hell I was. I had no idea and it could have been the main reason why I didn’t want to live. Why would anyone want to live if they didn’t even know that they were alive?

One day, I was driving along and a song came on the radio. It was a new song, upbeat, catchy, and soulful. I listened in and found myself bursting into tears. I felt so alone in the world – my husband rarely being home and me having way too much time on my hands with nothing to do but think. But here was this song, You Gotta Be, speaking to me and making me stop to listen.

I immediately went out and bought the whole album – remember, this was before iTunes and the days of buying a single song only, instead of the entire album – I didn’t care. The entire album could have sucked green eggs – it didn’t – and I wouldn’t have cared. There was something about that song. I had to have it. So I went to the music store and searched for it, nearly falling to the floor in a fit of hysterical giggles and tears when I found the cd and read it’s title – I Ain’t Movin’. Oh my! I had found my anthem album for sure!

I went home that evening and put it in our stereo on “single song repeat.” Husband loved gizmos and gadgets and all things top-of-the-line-electronics, especially if it was BIG! So our stereo system was BIG! And when I put it in the stereo, I could hear it on every floor of the house without any problem at all. That night, I listened to that song at least 329 times. For at least an hour, I stood in front of the speakers that were nearly as tall as me, tears pouring down my face, gently rocking myself, and tentatively singing the lyrics as they came to me. By the time I went to bed, that song was embedded in my DNA.

For months to follow, I listened to that song at least three times every day, and some days I listened to it non-stop all day long. I clung to the words like they were my oxygen supply. In a way, they were. When that song was on, it was the only time that my body moved easefully, it was the only time I realized I was breathing. It was the only time I cried.

That song got me through some of the darkest moments of my life over the next 2.5 years. And it never got old.

Fast forward to 2013…

I had just spent ten minutes scraping six inches of snow off my car and getting it clean while the inside warmed up. Tapping loose the blocks of guck that had accumulated behind the wheels, I giggled as mountains of icy grayness tumbled to the ground with resounding plops. I actually love doing that, for some reason. I felt really good about the session I had just facilitated with my client. I had received some delicious feedback from another client. I felt really empowered. My body felt strong as I moved the heavy snow. I could see my breath in puffs of steam in the wintery air. I felt immensely blessed.

I made fast work of everything that had to be done and climbed into the slightly-warm car. A new song started and I suddenly found myself with tears pouring down my cheeks as You Gotta Be filled my car. It had been years since I had heard the song and I couldn’t breathe for a minute as all the memories of it’s appearance in my life collided with the richness of the present.

Then, just like that, the tears turned to overflowing gratitude. In the middle of the contrast between what once was and what now was, I saw the strength that came through those moments where I stood in front of the speakers feeling broken and begging for God to fix my life. I saw how desperate I was to have someone rescue me and I witnessed my collapse when no one did. I watched myself pull myself up time and time again and just do what I could do to get my feet to move one in front of another until things started making sense. I saw that day after day after day after day of prayer after prayer after prayer after prayer laced with tears and more tears and more tears somehow lead me to days where there were fewer prayers of begging and more prayers of thanking and fewer tears of pain and more tears of joy and then there were more days of smiles and less of tears and more of gratitude and less of victimhood.

In the four minutes that my song played that day, I saw me growing up, growing wiser, growing stronger, growing calmer, and keeping it together. I realized that my song was still my song and it had taken on a whole new meaning. It no longer was what makes me breathe, but was, rather, a song that now meshes with a life that is full of breath, full of gratitude, and full of appreciation.

It was a shift I chose to make all those years ago. I chose to stand in front of the speaker and let that song move me because I couldn’t move myself. I chose to return to it time and again because I could sense that I found life in it. I didn’t know what else to do except that, so that is what I did until I felt inspired to do something new. I chose to breathe. I chose to move. I chose to do what I had to do to make it to the next day. And because I chose to lift myself up, get my shit together, and choose me, I learned how Love really does save the day!

“You Gotta Be” by Des’ree

Listen as your day unfolds, challenge what the future holds
Try and keep your head up to the sky
Lovers, they may cause you tears
Go ahead release your fears, stand up and be counted
Don’t be ashamed to cry

You gotta be
You gotta be bad, you gotta be bold, you gotta be wiser
You gotta be hard, you gotta be tough, you gotta be stronger
You gotta be cool, you gotta be calm, you gotta stay together
All I know, all I know, love will save the day

Herald what your mother said
Reading the books your father read
Try to solve the puzzles in your own sweet time
Some may have more cash than you
Others take a different view, my oh my, heh, hey

You gotta be bad, you gotta be bold, you gotta be wiser
You gotta be hard, you gotta be tough, you gotta be stronger
You gotta be cool, you gotta be calm, you gotta stay together
All I know, all I know, love will save the day

Don’t ask no questions, it goes on without you
Leaving you behind if you can’t stand the pace
The world keeps on spinning
You can’t stop it, if you try to
This time it’s danger staring you in the face

Remember, listen as your day unfolds
Challenge what the future holds
Try and keep your head up to the sky
Lovers, they may cause you tears
Go ahead release your fears, my oh my heh, hey, hey

You gotta be bad, you gotta be bold, you gotta be wiser
You gotta be hard, you gotta be tough, you gotta be stronger
You gotta be cool, you gotta be calm, you gotta stay together
All I know, all I know, love will save the day

You gotta be bad, you gotta be bold, you gotta be wiser
You gotta be hard, you gotta be tough, you gotta be stronger
You gotta be cool, you gotta be calm, you gotta stay together
All I know, all I know, love will save the day

……………………………………………………………….

I always welcome your thoughts, questions, and comments.
Feel free to jot down what you’re thinking in the comment box below.

HEY!

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One Response to Sometimes, You Just Gotta Be!

  1. Kimba says:

    It’s so interesting how the universe speaks to us in such different ways. For me, for a long list of reasons, it’s bicentennial quarters. I received one yesterday, out of the blue, and had a stellar day!

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