My Ultimate U2 Playlist ~ Track 12
Moment of Surrender
No Line On The Horizon (2009)
Can a piece of art change your life? Whether it is a song, a film, a book, a painting or something else, can an intrinsic, creative expression have such a profound impact on you that it literally changes the way you see the world? Some might say it is possible while others might dismiss this notion and claim that putting too much meaning behind a piece of art is dangerous. As an artist myself, it probably comes at no surprise that I agree that art can change lives, but I like to think that these profoundly affecting pieces of work are simply catalysts for change, rather than responsible for transformation themselves. The art in question merely shifts our energetic state or thought process into a place that already exits within us. It’s not that the art that caused us to change; it simply illuminated what was already inside. It’s sort of like that scene in the final Harry Potter movie (spoiler/nerd/awesome alert!) where Harry, on his way to confront Voldemort and ultimately his death, uses the Resurrection Stone to recall the ghosts of his loved ones to give him strength. The Stone gave him the power to see his friends and family for one last time, but the beauty was that he really didn’t need the Stone at all; the spirit of his mother and father would always be living inside him. The Stone simply served as a way of showing him this beauty. I find art to be the same way. Of all the songs on my Playlist, Moment of Surrender has probably had the biggest impact on me and in examining why, I came to realize the song didn’t change my life but rather it just became something that shed light on what I had inside all along.
For the greater part of my life, I have always felt a little “different” than people I have interacted with. It has always been a challenge to truly connect with others on a deep level, especially individuals of the same age. By no means am I declaring myself better than others or above them in anyway; that outrageous claim would be furthest from the truth. Simply put, I have always felt that I am wired a little bit differently than most. There would be moments in elementary school were I was more content with running around the playground in my own little universe, pretending to be Indiana Jones than I was participating in a game of tag. By the time I got to high school, with the few friends that I had, I would rather discuss the emotions I felt after a powerful film than the who was seen making out with the cheerleader behind the baseball diamond. In college, I began to open up a bit more, but there were times when I would much rather sit in my dorm with some hot tea and listen to great music or watch a moving film than attend an off-campus party and get totally smashed. I still consider myself to be the same, but the acceptance of these differences has not been easy.
I tied myself with wire / to let the horses run free / playing with the fire / until the fire played with me
Most of the time, the acknowledgment that I was different and had difficulty truly connecting with others came with surplus of self-judgment and an underlying confusion as to why I felt so out of touch with others. Sure, there were so-called “popular” things that I enjoyed (sports), but ironically, when I went off to college, my affinity for football singled me out as the weird one, as I attended a small liberal arts college. Paradoxical details aside, the feeling of disconnect was present and I began to carry the weight of judgment. I judged myself for choosing not to socialize often with others; I judged myself for feeling different, I even began criticizing myself for being so passionate about my favorite things. By no means was I reclusive, however, I was slowly beginning to make myself increasingly distant to people I trusted. Spending time in self-judgment can be the equivalent of playing with fire and if we are not careful, the fire will eventually begin to start playing with us.
I’ve been in every black hole / at the altar of the dark star
After being given enough room and ammunition to fester and grow, the judgment of self eventually leads to stronger void, an emotional black hole. Everything seemed to appear fine on the outside but internally, I found myself at the altar of the dark star. I found myself in positive situations, surrounded by encouraging people and seemingly being granted opportunities to shine. But there was darkness; a deep melancholy, sadness that kept resurfacing and it became increasingly difficult to determine why it was rearing its head. There were times where the feeling of self-judgment would give way to unworthiness, claiming that I did not deserve love and success. Internally, I would engage in battle and be angry for feeling unworthy and therefore judge myself for feeling the way that I did. It was a vicious circle.
My body’s now a begging bowl / that begging to get back / begging to get back to my heart / to the rhythm of my soul
I knew in my heart that this feeling of unworthiness and underlying sadness was not the true version of me. Even though I was still in the process of shaping my identity and unsure about exactly who I was, I was certain of one thing: this sadness I felt, the unworthiness and judgment for feeling different was not my true essence.
Midway through my senior year of college, I had decided to make a thesis film so I could graduate with something creative to my name. I had an idea in mind for a story and for the resources that were available to me, it was shaping up to be an immense challenge. As I was writing the project, the judgment returned, but it also came along with something stronger: fear. How could I be a powerful leader on a film set when there was a part of me that was stuck in fear of whether people would understand what I was trying to say? If I had trouble connecting with others, how could I expect them to listen to me? Was my story too melodramatic and the production too complicated? My fear and anxiety around the project began to outweigh my creative excitement and then came a wave of self-judgment. Was this whole “film thing” the right choice? Maybe I wasn’t meant to make films as I originally planned; the stage was too big for me. I was too “different”. Unworthiness not only began to creep into my brain, but also my heart.
And then something extraordinary happened. One night, I found myself unable to write past the first few scenes of my film and I was standing on the precipice of scratching the whole idea. Like I had done for years, I began searching for salvation through music and Moment of Surrender began to play. I could hardly believe what I was hearing.
At the moment of surrender / of vision over visibility / I did not notice the passers-by / and the did not notice me
Emotion began to pour out of me when I heard the chorus of voices. The antidote came in the form of a simple word: surrender. The judgment that came from feeling different, the subsequent feeling of unworthiness and the fear surrounding me were not elements I needed to fight, but rather things I needed to yield to. Surrendering does not mean defeat, but instead an acceptance to what we are feeling and with this recognition, we give the power back to ourselves. And so Moment of Surrender became my anthem for embracing my differences and finding the courage to accept the anxiety. As soon as I decided to surrender to what I was feeling, I discovered a new-found confidence and the black hole inside of me would disappear.
Out of my own moment of surrender came the disregard of the weight I carried inside. I embraced the fact that I felt different than others and my confidence grew. Instead of fighting it, I welcomed the fear around my project with open arms and soon enough, others began to respond to my creative leadership in a positive way. I had finally discovered who I was and what I was capable of achieving when I decided to be assertive, confident and transparent. The fear and judgment would come back from time to time, but my greatest weapon was my ability to surrender to it. In surrendering, the Universe provided me the assurance that I needed and the production of my senior thesis ended being one of the more empowering experiences of my life.
I think know who I am now. I am a confident, powerful, creative and abundant individual, who shares his creative voice through filmmaking in hopes to make art that has a profound, positive emotional impact on the world. Deep inside, we all know who we are, but sometimes we are just too caught up in fear, worry and self-judgment to surrender to our own worth. Moment of Surrender served as catalyst for helping me return to the rhythm of my soul and step into my true power. You could say that the song changed my life, but I’d rather say that it simply turned the spotlight back in a direction that allowed me to rediscover my worthiness, value and light. And now, every time I hear the coda at the climax of the song, I am reminded of the power that can come from choosing to surrender. We are far too special and magnificent to ignore our true worth. If we live a life of seeking approval and acceptance from others, we will constantly feel empty. On the contrary, if we choose to accept ourselves just the way we are, unique, eccentric and maybe a little strange, we allow ourselves to fall back into the beautiful rhythm of the soul. And if the fear and judgment returns, give it a kiss and surrender to it. You might find that it will go away entirely.
Choosing to surrender to whom I am turned out to be the greatest gift I have ever received, and the beauty lies in the fact that I granted this reward upon myself. If you ever find yourself in a desolate black hole, do your best to ask yourself if this pain is a product of self-judgment. Are you inhibiting yourself from your fundamental nature because you are uncomfortable with categorizing yourself as “normal”? If this is the case, I encourage you to forgive yourself for this judgment and surrender to your own significance. You owe this much to yourself because you are worthy of all the blessings that come your way.
Only one song left:
1. Breathe (No Line On The Horizon)
2. Where The Streets Have No Name (The Joshua Tree)
3. Mysterious Ways (Achtung Baby)
4. In A Little While (All That You Can’t Leave Behind)
5. Please (POP)
6. Walk On (All That You Can’t Leave Behind)
7. Until The End Of The World (Achtung Baby)
8. Stay [Faraway, So Close!] (Zooropa)
9. With or Without You (The Joshua Tree)
10. One Tree Hill (The Joshua Tree)
11. Bad (The Unforgettable Fire)
12. Moment of Surrender (No Line On The Horizon)
(Copyright 2012 ~ Jason Natzke)
Reading your last two entries was something of an emotional trip/reflection.
All I can say is thank you. Especially for the part about surrendering to yourself.
Again, thank you.