The same faint song is heard in everything: “Behold yourself.” – Deepak Chopra
“Take a look at me so you can see how beautiful you are.”
I love this line from the song “Stranger”, by the rock band Secondhand Serenade. I also love their other songs, especially the band’s poignant, emotional love songs, but this song—and this line in particular—just hits me dead-center. Right in the feels, as the meme goes.
In this song, the singer is a man in love with a woman who has been hurt before, and who is now keeping him at a distance. Hence, the “Stranger” in the title. But the man, nervous and unsure in her presence but drawn to her anyway, tries to reassure her, to make her feel safe around him. More than that, he tries to remind her of her worth as a person—and of her worth to him.
“But I would give my final breath to make you understand how beautiful you are.”
In a world replete with over-sexualized pop, rock and rap songs praising a woman for her composite body parts—her boobs, her butt, her hips, her thighs, her legs, her…I don’t know…her Buffalo wings?—and how “bootylicious” men think those body parts are, this song strikes me as pure almost to the point of being quaint or old-fashioned. And that’s a good thing, absolutely a good thing. The singer praises the woman’s beauty, but it isn’t just about her physical appearance or her effect on his own body parts. It’s the way she inspires him, and the way she perceives him and the world so clearly. It’s the broken pieces of her, and the way she picked up those broken pieces and put herself back together again.
Everything about her is beautiful, and he knows it. He sees it. He loves it. And he reflects it back to her.
If she would only take a chance, and look at him.
It’s drop-dead romantic. Really, what human being wouldn’t want this song to be sung about him or her? Now here’s a little what-if: Take this song, and imagine that, instead of a lover or a suitor singing it to you, it’s the Universe. Or God. Or Nature. Or Reality. Or Life.
Everything around you—the people, the trees, the buildings, the sunlight, the flowers by the roadside, the children playing in the street, the delicious smell of the bakery you passed by, the cup of chamomile tea in the evening, the book in your hand, everything—is singing you a serenade. It’s beseeching you to open up your heart and to look at it. Really look at it. As if you’d never seen any of it before.
Because if you do, you just might see your beauty being reflected back to you.
Life is a love song. We spend our days listening to the screaming and caterwauling and ranting and cussing and phony, Auto-tune dreck that we think Life is until our ears are ringing, and all the while, Life is singing us a heartbreaking love song. Telling us we’re safe in its hands. That we’re in no danger. That this seemingly broken and abandoned world, full of pain and suffering and injustice, is just waiting for us to truly accept it, forgive it—to truly love it—and so change it for the better.
Life is a lover, daring us to turn around…and look.