I have a song on repeat right now. Sia’s song, Chandelier, is beautiful, powerful, and raw. The first time I ever heard it, several months ago, I had to Shazam it, because I just had to know more about the song.
It’s the story of a party girl who’s desire is to not feel the wounds of the past. She throws the drinks back until she’s swinging from the chandelier. She wants to forget that she feels so unworthy. She keeps her drink full until the morning light, because she’s doesn’t want to face her shame. Her only desire is to stuff the wounds, and live like tomorrow doesn’t exist, so she just holds on to tonight.
As I listen to her song over and over again, I’ve discovered more than the shame of a wild and out of control life, I hear the song of a deeper desire, It’s a desire that rushes through the deepest caverns of each human heart — freedom. Freedom from the past wounds, from the past shame, and freedom from the worry of the future, from the dark unknown.
As Christians, we click our tongue, shake our head, and whisper, “Isn’t it sad,” but how many times have we buried our shame in prayer, drowned our pain in consecration? How many times have we swung from the chandelier of self-righteousness, holding on for dear life? We’ve got Jesus, but we still secretly live in darkness, if only we, too, could escape the pain.
Oh, if only we could swing from the chandelier, free from our shame and our worry. If only we could live innocent as a child.
Oh, if only.
But how? How can we truly be free from the fear of our past and the fear of our future? Jesus told us we must become like a child, so maybe the truth lies within them. If you’ve ever lived with children for any amount of time, you know, when presented with a chandelier, they’re gonna pick to swing on it, and swing they will, without shame.
Children have not yet learned to be defined by their past. They don’t know the crippling prison of yesterday’s shame. They have yet to believe they’re not good enough. They still believe they are free — free to be.
And tomorrow? That day doesn’t exist with children. Don’t believe me? Just tell children they can have a candy bar…tomorrow. Things get ugly real fast. As parents, we scold our children for their selfishness and impatience, but what if they’re the ones who understand the sacred truth: Today is all we have.
Jesus, himself, declares, “Give no thought for tomorrow.”
Echart Tolle says,
“All negativity is caused by denial of present. Unease, anxiety, tension, stress, worry — all forms of fear — are caused by too much future, and not enough presence. Guilt, regret, resentment, grievances, sadness, bitterness, and all forms of nonforgiveness are caused by too much past, and not enough presence.”
To truly find happiness and love in this life we must let go of the past and the future, because they don’t exist, but instead accept the present moment. When we begin to peel our identity away from our past with self-love and self-forgiveness, when we let go of our existence defined by the days that haven’t even come yet, as we take deep breaths of this present moment, as we see that all our needs are met in this moment, we will discover the same sacred truth: today is all we have. Not in a sense of flagrant, out of control living, but rather a life of freedom, joy, and loving without shame.
Somebody get me a chandelier, because I’m gonna live like tomorrow doesn’t exist.