The other day on my way to work I had an unexpected reaction to a string of songs playing on the radio. The songs were “When I Was Your Man” by Bruno Mars, “Fight Song” by Rachel Platten, and “The Heart of the Matter by Don Henley.
When I heard “When I Was Your Man” that morning, I’m not sure what it was, but it’s as if I listened to that song for the first time, even though I’d heard it before. I was touched by the powerful sense of regret and anguish in Bruno Mars’ voice. Even though the song is about a lost love, it got me thinking about regret in my life and brought to mind something I’ve thought about a lot lately. For years, I didn’t listen to something inside that told me, “You want to write. So write.” It made me sad to think that it may be too late for me.
The next song started with the quiet opening line, “Like a small boat on the ocean, sending big waves into motion…” and I knew it was “Fight Song” with Rachel Platten’s amazing message of resilience and belief. I felt encouraged. I cranked up the volume and sang along at the top of my lungs. Yes, I got it! I feel like she does when she says, “I still got a lot of fight left in me.” There’s no time for regret. I have to believe and it’s not too late. Yay! I felt better.
Then Don Henley – “The Heart of the Matter” flashed on my radio info screen and I heard the opening chords and something happened to me at that moment. Now let me say that I know this song very well because when I was going through a particularly rough patch many years ago, this song helped me through it and the message has stayed with me ever since. So when I heard the opening chords and saw the title, something inside me snapped. Suddenly, tears came to my eyes as I drove down a very busy road on a Tuesday morning before sunrise. The tears came and I couldn’t stop them. It was as if a floodgate opened and I could not go on driving.
I pulled into a parking lot and parked under a lamppost as the song played and I cried more. He sings, “I’ve been trying to get down to the heart of the matter but my will gets weak and my thoughts seem to scatter but I think it’s about forgiveness.” There it is. My message for the day. My gift that morning. My truth. My comfort. My spiritual hug.
When I was finally able to get myself together, I took a deep breath and got back on the road. The sun had started to light up the sky, making the clouds a fiery red. What a beautiful picture. It looked something like this.
I smiled and thanked God for all that had just occurred. I accepted that string of songs as a gift that gave me the message that I needed that day: Forgive myself (and others) for words not said and things not done. Move on. I’m on the right track. It’s only too late when I’m gone, so keep going, stay strong, and believe.
I’m telling you this story because I thought you might need to hear the message too. I know it’s not easy, but whatever it is you have in your heart, go after it. It can be scary, I know, but that dream, idea, or passion is there for a reason. It’s not too late, and no one else can do it for you. It has to come from you.