I have always loved movie soundtracks. The music and songs transport me back into a film I have enjoyed. I can see again, in my mind’s eye, the scenes unfolding as the music plays.
I have been captivated and inspired by a recent soundtrack from The Greatest Showman. One of its songs, This is Me, is my song for 2018. The truth is, I love every song on that lively soundtrack. Each one brings to mind the corresponding scenes from the film…and I can personally relate to the lyrics.
I realized a few days ago, as I was driving and listening to The Greatest Showman for the 50th time, that this soundtrack could actually be my soundtrack. The songs accurately portray my own life journey. I thought it would be fun to tell my story, through The Greatest Showman song lyrics.
I’ll share the song title, and the lyrics from that piece that I relate to, and then a few explanatory sentences to tie it all together.
A Million Dreams
I close my eyes and I can see the world that’s waiting up for me, that I call my own. Through the dark, through the door, through where no one’s been before, but it feels like home. Because every night I lie in bed, the brightest colors fill my head, a million dreams are keeping me awake. I think of what the world could be, a vision of the one I see. A million dreams is all it’s gonna to take. A million dreams for the world we’re gonna to make.
This song captures my childhood well. I’ve had big, vivid dreams since I was a toddler. And I literally see colors when I close my eyes. I’ve come to make associations with those colors. For me they are a form of receiving info. When I felt afraid as a child, I created worlds in my imagination to escape into. Far from just childish make believe, these other realities taught me to problem solve and live as the person I was becoming.
You can say, you can say it all sounds crazy. You can say, you can say I’ve lost my mind. I don’t care, I don’t care so call me crazy. I can live in a world that I design.
Me as a wee girl, with a HUGE imagination. This was my “don’t mess with me” look.
Sun is up and the color’s blinding, take the world and redefine it. Leave behind your narrow mind. You’ll never be the same. Come alive, come alive, go and light your light, let it burn so bright. Reaching up to the sky,and it’s open wide. You’re electrified.
As I entered my late teens, I began to get a better sense of who I was becoming. Fear still overshadowed my life, but I was awakening to the idea of redefining my perceptions of the world. I also knew, instinctively, that it was possible to leave behind the fearfulness that had held me captive and that my life, truly would not be the same. I feel such strong emotions around the words Come alive, come alive, go and light your light, let it burn so bright. The desire was within me to do so. It would take many more years before I fully accepted that Divine invitation.
The Other Side
But you would finally live a little, finally laugh a little. Just let me give you the freedom to dream and it’ll wake you up and cure your aching, take your walls and start ’em breaking. Now that’s a deal that seems worth taking, but I guess I’ll leave that up to you.
The rest of the songs from this amazing soundtrack capture my adult years. These lyrics from The Other Side represent the continual invitation that was offered to me, to live, to laugh, to live in freedom, freedom from my fears, freedom from the walled up prison I built for myself, to keep me safe. Of course I wasn’t really safe. I was closed down, my heart and emotions barricaded behind those thick walls. The invitation was always from the Divine, and it never stopped. I reached a point in my life where the hunger to learn more, embrace life more and find out what I could do outweighed a life of safety. My questions drew me cautiously forward. The walls began breaking.
I’m trying to hold my breath, let it stay this way, can’t let this moment end. You set off a dream with me. Getting louder now. Can you hear it echoing?
It was a scary process, leaving behind the box that I had put myself in. Life began to change rapidly for me. The Dream Giver had set me on a path that led I knew not where. And one of my first big lessons was, it’s a solitary journey, that starts within and moves outward. I had family and friends, but it was my time of growing, and discovering. I had to be okay with feeling alone, knowing that I could pour my heart out to El-le (my personal name for God). I learned as well that I had to love myself, care for myself, be my own best friend, because looking for love, attention, fame or wealth from anyone else would never feel like enough.
All the shine of a thousand spotlights, all the stars we steal from the night sky, will never be enough, never be enough. Towers of gold are still too little, these hands could hold the world but it’ll never be enough, never be enough.
This is Me
This is brave, this is proof, this is who I’m meant to be, this is me. Look out ’cause here I come. And I’m marching on to the beat I drum. I’m not scared to be seen, I make no apologies, this is me.
I’ve written about how much I appreciate this song. It is the core piece in the movie and it is my heart cry. This is where I currently am in my journey. Fear has been banished. I am free to be who I am meant to be. I am marching on to the beat I drum. This is me. This is ME! I’m not scared to be me and I’ve done much inner work to get here.
Rewrite the Stars
It’s up to you, and it’s up to me, no one can say what we get to be. So why don’t we rewrite the stars? Maybe the world could be ours tonight.
This is my invitation to others. Everyone has a different journey, and yet the invitation to live, to laugh, to embrace who they are, is offered to all. It’s up to you, as it was up to me, to accept the invite. We really do get to rewrite the stars and change our lives.
Some people long for a life that is simple and planned, tied with a ribbon. Some people won’t sail the sea ’cause they’re safer on land, to follow what’s written. But I’d follow you to the great unknown…
There’s nothing wrong with a simple life, unless it’s chosen out of fear. I remind myself often that I choose adventure over a careful life. I just recently have begun to travel more, something I’ve dreamed of since childhood. I am willing to follow El-le into the great unknown, rather than stay safely in a place of following someone else’s rules. And as the song says, choosing such a life can feel like walking a tightrope, but oh the view from that place!
We’re walking the tightrope never sure, never know how far we could fall. But it’s all an adventure that comes with a breathtaking view.
From Now On
What’s waited till tomorrow starts tonight, it starts tonight. Let this promise in me start, like an anthem in my heart, from now on, from now on. And we shall go back home, and we shall go back home, home again.
This song reminds me that I have made a promise, a commitment, to myself and to others, that this is me, this is my life, from now on. It is the anthem in my heart. The words about going back home make me think of Scotland, my ancestral home, and they remind me that earth is not my permanent home. I shall return someday to the Divine, from whence I came.
The Greatest Show
It’s everything you ever want. It’s everything you ever need. And it’s here right in front of you.
This is where you wanna be.
I moved the film’s opening song to the end, because it is done as a reprisal at the conclusion of the movie. It takes the main character full circle, from his dreams to the fulfillment of them.
I can say, with gratitude, that so many of my childhood dreams have become reality. In fact, I am living in a place that is beyond what I could imagine as a little girl. Life is beautiful. It’s everything I ever wanted. It’s everything I need, just as it is. It’s all right here in front of me. I am exactly where I need to be and want to be. The path stretches out ahead of me and disappears around a bend. I can’t see very far ahead. I don’t need to. I just have to keep walking, keep learning, keep listening to the Dream Giver’s voice, and enjoy the journey.
This is the greatest show. It’s called Life.