|'Bring me Down'|
The first Lenka song I heard was played on the satellite station at IKEA. 'The Show' came on like clockwork at the same time during my shift and eventually I used a phone app to identify and download the song as the lyrics struck me as particularly Buddhist in nature. In fact, this and 'Live Like You're Dying' were the first songs to inspire a new playlist of 'Buddhist tracks' for my iPod.
Not that the lyrics are specifically Buddhist - they are, as I emphasise repeatedly - a sort of universal wisdom I encounter often. The fact that she's only 36 this year speaks to my belief that wisdom is not exclusively a result of years lived.
Her lyrics often have incredibly insightful messages and choosing one to illustrate, as with Ingrid Michaelson, Katie Herzig and Amanda Palmer, was quite difficult.
I chose this one because I have only recently come to understand what unconditional love really means. I know it may sound simple - love no matter what - but I don't believe many of us appreciate the subtle expectations we have of others. Or how we let others expectations of us affect our own behaviour.
I believe parenthood is one of the few times unconditional love can happen spontaneously and even then, from basic observations, it's simple to see this is not a default. The basis of this kind of love is accepting the complexity of another human being by recognising our own complexity.
It's knowing that someone can only do the best they can with the resources they have and unless someone is fully enlightened they will make a mess of things at times. But unconditional love doesn't mean putting oneself in the way of harm.
Unconditionally love must extend to oneself as well.
Unconditional love is accepting that another person is who they are and will only change by their own momentum. If they are unwilling or unable to change and their actions are harmful then it is beneficial to both you and them to not be in their life - but the unconditional love is good for your heart because in their absence it could become easy to disconnect them from being human, vilifying them and cultivating hatred.
Accept that they don't know any better, but remove yourself from harm's way. Wish they may one day find the resources to change - knowing this will stop them from causing further harm.
To me these lyrics capture the brilliance of the idea that we can be grateful to everyone. Holding onto something like hate will destroy us far more quickly than it will the person or people who have hurt us.