This morning, as I meandered (one only can meander) down the back roads of Delaware County, Pennsylvania, I listened to Danny Gokey’s 2014 album “Hope In Front of Me“. Nearly every song on this album has made me cry at one point or another. The songs speak to the importance of living joyfully in the present, appreciating and fully loving those around us because the next moment is not guaranteed, and trusting in God’s presence with us in the darkest and most painful hours of our lives.
Today I was moved by the song, “Love Will Take You Places” in which Danny Gokey sings this:
Love will stand in the place of the one who’s guilty;
Gives a voice to those who can’t speak;
Take a bullet, take the fall;
Walk on water, make it part;
Breathe new life into a broken heart.
When you let it turn the pages, love will take you places.
These lyrics point to the healing power of love. Not romantic love (“eros”), but the love of the Divine Spark that exists within all of us (“agape”) and thus is ours to share with a world in great need of healing.
The True love of God is the only thing that saved me from the self-destructive, self-deprecating path of disordered eating on which I stumbled for so long. When I shared my “recovery wisdom” in my recent post, the last thing I included was “Feed Your Spirit”, but perhaps it should have been the first. Tending to my spiritual health has had the most lasting impact.
This morning when I weighed myself at the gym and the number was higher than I anticipated, I was immediately bombarded with that familiar, fear-based inner critic: “You know you’ve been eating too many sweets lately! You’ve got to lay off. At this rate, you’ll gain another five pounds in the next month. That’s it. No more snacks and you better exercise every day instead of five days a week.” Whew. It caught me off guard, because I had felt pretty centered and thought I was no longer so identified with my physical form, having spent a significant time tending to my spiritual health in the past year and cultivating a mindfulness practice. But, there it was. Loud and harsh. My inner critic. The Ego. And I bought into its lies for most of the day today. I felt discouraged, less able to be present with my friends, and entirely identified with my physical self again.
Until now. In a moment of quiet, the lyrics of Danny Gokey’s song came back to me: “When you let it turn the pages, love will take you places.” I realized how far God’s love has taken me already and that all I need to do is surrender to that love again…and again…and again. As often as it takes, as many new moments as it takes. The love is always there for me, for all of us. This realization helps me. It heals me.
Will you let love turn the pages of your life? Will you let it write a new story for you, one that is outside the narrative of self-criticism and disordered eating? Let’s all let love take us places.
Peace, joy, and health,