So many songs have just one thing to say, perhaps with a bit of fluff around it, but with one basic message. And there is a lot to be said for the purity and simplicity of songs like that; you know what you're supposed to feel, whether to dance with abandon, or to call your best friend, or to resolve to leave a lost love in the past, whatever.
But life is not simple, emotions are often very complex, and you rarely ever feel just one thing at any given time. So for me the best kind of song makes you feel more than one emotion, and it's even better if it makes you feel them so strongly that you don't just identify with the song, you have been changed by it somehow. It may not happen right away, but if you give it time, a song like that can get under your skin at just the right moment, and teach you something you didn't know about yourself.
I've already written a lot about Magne's songwriting and poetry and how complex it can be. It has been a while since I listened to PPFT, and ADOB comes up in shuffle every so often. But the other day I heard one of Magne's songs and it struck me again how he is able to make you feel deeply several things at once.
'More than good enough' is a perfect example: the reassurance is wonderful and selfless and thoughtful; it's a bright light in the darkness that is easy to grab on to. And yet you can't separate this from the sad fact that it's needed at all, that someone's confidence and spirit has been crushed almost to the point of desolation. It is a powerful thing when a friend not only tries to lift you up, but also fully acknowledges the source of your pain; we all need to know someone understands our wounds and our fears, this helps us to heal. So in the end you feel both the suffering and the kindness in the song, you can't have one without the other.
Anyway, without going back through all the things I have already written about, what have I learned about myself? Probably everyone takes a little something different from songs like this, but I keep learning over and over that I need to stop standing in the way of my own happiness ('did you run / cause you thought that you didn't deserve it?'). There are a few ways this rings true for me, a faraway friend put it best: 'Stop kicking your own ass!' It's frustrating that even though I know it, I somehow keep holding myself back from what I know will make me happy.
Back to my original question: the heartbreaking part is realizing that when you are too afraid to follow your heart, it isn't just you who suffers, you can hurt the one you love; and the hopeful part is when you realize that it is a choice, and that nothing is standing in the way of your happiness but your own fears. It's easy to say that circumstances aren't on your side, or that what you want is too far away to reach for, or to let yourself believe that you don't deserve it, or that happiness depends on someone else - but in the end it all comes down to you finding the strength to break the cycle and finally let yourself be happy. Life is short, love is precious, happiness won't wait forever - and why would you put it off anyway?! - so it's time to reach for it.