U2’s latest album, Songs of Experience, includes a song titled, “Get Out of Your Own Way”. While listening closely to the creative lyrics I realised how relevant this concept is to my own life let alone the people around me. Often, we find something or someone to blame for situations we’ve been placed in to avoid facing the harsh reality that we ourselves may be our greatest restriction.
The verse that stood out to me most was “Nothing’s stopping you except what’s inside”. Generally, well written music will elicit some sort of illustration in the listener’s mind that helps them put together a story or concept. But as I listened to the song, I was reminded of a photo that made its way onto my social media news feed a few years back of a fully grown horse tethered to a single leg of a small plastic chair. Seeing how big this horse was compared to the chair, I wondered why it didn’t run away considering one of the horses legs was three times the size of the chair and in no way a physical restraint.
So what made this horse think it was actually stuck? A few different answers went through my mind such as the possibility that it was just well trained and loyal to its owner which could very well be true. Though, for the sake of this analogy we will assume that the horse was just so used to the idea of being tethered to something solid that it never realised the real tether was its mind. Similarly, we can be weighed down by things that have no physical weight such as something from the past that seems inescapable. In that case, the only way it has power is if it’s granted power.
Power is often given to thoughts that sabotage self worth, such as, “I’m not good enough” and “There are people more qualified than me for that position.” It’s interesting to note that most of these thoughts that make us feel like less of a person are attached to fear almost every time.
A desire for change
Another angle from this song could be related to the desire for change. Whether it’s personal change, joining a gym, changing job or social change like a political movement or demanding action against some injustice, there is always a time for change. Often you can see posts on social media by people who are upset with a political outcome or social injustice who finds the energy to rant to everyone about it with little action attached. Maybe the solution is you, and maybe the issue is less about the problem and more about one’s failure to act on it.
Sometimes we are just our biggest problem, but we may also be our biggest solution so long as we’re able to see it. Instead of getting in the way of ourselves and blocking the view of what might be, perhaps we should move ourselves out of the way and see just how far the horizon is.
Jesse Moore draws from the Bible and classical literature for insight into life’s tough questions. He is currently studying at university to become a film-maker.
Jesse Moore’s previous articles can be viewed at: https://www.pressserviceinternational.org/jesse-moore.html