I was thinking of some lyrics from a song by Sting earlier — and I’ll get to that in a moment — but what happened is that I sat down and watched his “All This Time” DVD, because I thought this episode from Sting’s life (and how he interpreted it) might have something to say to me right now.
First let me say that of course the “backstory” part of the DVD does a good job of promoting Sting… even though I also think he is probably one of the best songwriters of our time. In this part, Sting reveals some of the thinking behind his songwriting — and one thing I found particularly interesting is the way he says a song is sort of something shared between the songwriter and the listener, in the sense of being a vibe that channels both writer’s and listener’s feelings and experiences. In this sense, when Sting sings “it’s always me”, he is also sort of saying that he also acknowledges that it’s also always you.
The thing that motivated me to watch this film now is in part this sentiment of “it’s always me”… but also that I remembered that the film is somewhat of a documentary of how events rained on his parade in a very significant way: The birthday party Sting spent a lot of time, money and effort orchestrating was pretty much ruined by something chaotic, entirely beyond his control, and again, it seems, Sting ended up getting wet. The entire event had a very somber aura, and this was very much not the fault of any of the people who participated.
The lyrics I was thinking of when I turned to get the movie were also a long-time favorite of mine: “If you love somebody, set them free”. This is really the crux of what I was thinking about, and it also applies to loving yourself.
In this case, my thinking goes like this: If you love yourself, then you will neither berate yourself, nor will you allow others to berate you. If you love others, then you will not berate them… — and you will also not allow them to berate you. If you allowed them to berate you, then you would not be allowing them to set you free (or, in other words: to love you). Any kind of “rating scheme” whatsoever is an indication of a lack of trust in the other person, an unwillingness to let them live their life the way they want to (as another great songwriter, Jimi Hendrix, once put it).