Monday, May 14, 2012

The Depth Behind "Rolling in the Deep"

"Rolling in the Deep" is probably Adele's most popular and well-known song; as well as popular and well-known in general. Most can probably sing and recite the lyrics easily. Whether it's because people connect with it (or simply because they've heard it so much) there are many reasons why it's as beloved as it is. Though, like many songs, many probably sing it without really considering the depth or the weight of the words. 

Adele's music and lyrics have always resonated strongly with me. I ponder the meaning behind each song and relate to each one in some way. The songs she writes are the result of the experiences she has had (most of them involving tragedy in a relationship). It's no mystery as to why I can personalize her songs in a way that fits my own unique circumstances. "Rolling in the Deep" is one that I have heard and sung countless times. Though, I have some fresh insight and understanding into the words. 

Like everyone else, I have seen my share of loss in relationships; whether we're talking friendships or romantic connections. Each loss has varied in degree. Some were no big deal while others were absolutely unbearable (and haunt me even still). Without going into detail, I'll just say that something triggered "Rolling in the Deep" in my mind. I really started thinking about each word and how it did (or didn't) apply to current and past situations. It has been so long since I have bothered to blog anything, but this seemed like some powerful insights that needed to be shared. Someone out there besides me needs to read this: 

"There's a fire starting in my heart; reaching a fever pitch and it's bringing me out the dark...." This describes the moment where you know there's a fire inside that is reaching it's hottest point to where it's undeniable. It burns so hot and so bright that it brings you out of the dark (denial) you've been in. You wake up and say, "finally I can see you crystal clear." The truth is as clear as day and brings out a lot of those fiery emotions; whether good or bad. There's usually a lot of rage directed at the person who wronged you: "go ahead and sell me out and I'll lay your ship bare. See how I'll leave with every piece of you. Don't underestimate the things that I will do!" The feeling of anger (and sometimes revenge) cries out at the injustices that might have occurred. Betray me and I'll betray you. Take from me and I'll take you down with me; and if you don't think I will, you're underestimating me. 

There are usually many more emotions that follow. There are stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. Those stages are clearly evident in the lyrics as she goes from getting out of denial to being angry. Then comes the bargaining and depression as she reflects on the hurt: "The scars of your love remind me of us they keep me thinking that we almost had it all. The scars of your love they leave me breathless I can't help feeling...We could have had it all, rolling in the deep. You had my heart inside of your hand, and you played it to the beat." What once were memories become scars of what was. You can't believe it and it takes your breath away. You play the "what if" game of what was and what could have been. You could have had it all; rolling in the depths of what you shared. Your heart was in their hands and they played you. 

The grief stages continue to cycle and more anger surfaces: "Baby, I have no story to be told; but I heard one on you and I'm gonna make your head burn! Think of me in the depths of your despair. Make a home down there as mine sure won't be shared." Often times, that hurt turns into hate and you long to make a person's "head burn" (or ears burn, as the saying goes). You talk about them to your friends and maybe even gossip and spread rumors. Sometimes, we leave our own role out of it and only focus on what "they" did wrong; and hope with all our hearts that they will hurt a lot more. We hope they're tortured by our memory as we strive not to be tortured by theirs. We shake our fists and say: "You're gonna wish you'd never met me. Tears are gonna fall; rolling in the deep." We may wish we had never met them too, but our hurt has us wishing even more that they regret what they've done because if not, they soon will as we make it miserable for them. May the tears fall as they think about all they had and could have had! 

Then, comes the sort of "acceptance" part: "Throw your soul through every open door. Count your blessings to find what you look for. Turn my sorrow into treasured gold. You'll pay me back in kind and reap just what you sow." This, by far, is the most positive and healing element of the whole process; the anticipated result of the journey of pain. It's the point where you let go and wish them well. You hope that they put their heart into the next "open door" that they come across; counting their blessings in every good and bad experience. Eventually, they'll find what they're looking for (as will you, if you do the same). The sorrow that turns into treasured gold are those precious nuggets of wisdom that you mine from each painful experience. It's not all for nothing. If they (as well as you) can gleam something from all the mess, you realize it is not a waste if you can learn from their (and YOUR) mistakes. You have to sift through a lot of filth to find the gems. Then, you finally realize that the greatest "revenge" doesn't come from creating MORE pain. The "sweeter" revenge is forgiveness and finding peace; and finding out that they have found the same. That's how they "pay you back in kind" if they (and you) have shown remorse for the wrongs committed. The rewards are reaped indeed (Psalm 126:4-6James 3:18). Consequences will also be reaped should you continue to ignore the gold and sow trouble (Job 4:7-9Proverbs 22:8Galatians 6:7-8). 

This song has been such a good lesson and illustration for me; for not only the recent incidence but for past ones as well. Yet, my big heart has always been a double-edged sword. My willingness to give the benefit of the doubt (and see the best in people despite some obvious faults and/or "deal breakers") often blinds me from accepting the reality of who people are. I am no Oprah fan, but this is probably one of the truest things I've ever heard her say: "When people show you who they really are, believe them."  Accept it and then deal with it accordingly. Yes, people can and do change, but it's THEIR choice. The only one you can change and make decisions for is "you." Make a decision to stay away from those that are divisive, toxic, and even dangerous. Sometimes it means saying good-bye when you realize that no matter what you do, they will never do what it takes to make their own right choices and they cause nothing but trouble (Titus 3:9-11). 

We all hope to find those rare and "deep" people that we can count on. Those that truly are, hold them close! Cut out the "shallow" ones from your life and learn to treasure every good and bad experience and turn it into an opportunity! May you all roll in the depths of God's love, wisdom, grace, and forgiveness! Grace and peace to all of you!