Just recently I was able to introduce my eleven year old daughter to Bob Marley. This was a proud day for me to share with her; playing music with her that has brought me great joy since I was a kid. While we discussed his music and his message of hope, she recognized the song, “Don’t Worry Be Happy.” Of course she did! Who doesn’t find themselves smiling, singing, movin’ and groovin’ to this simple tune every now and then? It simply resonates with our souls. Generations have grown up to these simple and sacred words. This song was destined to be written. It was already in the stars awaiting formation when good ole’ Mr. Marley came along and took the grand opportunity to embrace the universe with his music.
It applies to everything doesn’t it? Yesterday I was talking to a friend in jail who is awaiting his destiny via the judge. He’s been sitting there for months while the court takes their sweet time to give him a “yay” or “nay” on rehabilitation versus a pretty wretched prison sentence. I know he’s antsy and nervous about the whole thing, but he is safe right now, off the streets and sober. Although it’s not the ideal setting to be behind bars, there are three meals a day, a place to sleep, and showers. Many people don’t even have the luxury of a warm place to sleep. Even more people are starving everyday. I don’t mean to downplay my friends anguish, but when I was in rehab for my alcoholism, embraced by the walls of an institution, I thanked God everyday that I was still alive, and that I could still feel joy even if it was through the likes of a small thing like being able to sleep through a night with covers to keep me warm. I was humbled in that place of refuge, and brought face to face with the fact that life isn’t about what you have, who you know, or your social status. When these precious things are ruthlessly removed from our lives, we quickly discover that we are still here. We don’t fade out, or disappear when our world comes crashing down. On the contrary… we are quite THERE and vibrantly alive in our rawness and humiliation, and we are closer to God or our Higher Power, than we have ever been.
Some of us have wandered around in life with everything, still vacant inside from a lack of a higher power. We asked God to show up, and when this occurs, it’s usually not in the form of a burning bush. No, we usually discover God in a place of humility, often followed by significant pain and sorrow. When we are stripped of the things that we made out to be so important, we have nothing left except for ourselves. It is then that we become fully aware of our completeness in this place of ultimate surrender. Some of us keep our arrogance even after the fact, but this is merely an image too, and once this is finally shed, we discover our wholeness underneath all the masks we uphold to obscure our beautiful vulnerability.
What does any of this have to do with Bob Marley? It’s his powerful message that speaks to our souls. “Don’t worry. About a thing. Cause’ every little thing is going to be alright…” Whether you are just becoming sober for the very first time, or recovering from an awful relapse, no matter what you encounter in your life; when you come to a place of total surrender, you are immediately safe. Humility is the universe’s way of getting our attention and reminding us that we are naturally taken care of. We don’t have to be in charge nor should we sweat anything, because everything we need is already set in motion. All the goodness we desire, is simply awaiting our acceptance, but we need to get out of our own way in order for the good to arrive. This is such a beautiful place to be, no matter where it occurs, because it is a place of total acceptance of all that is. When we are in this place, there is no need to worry about a thing. I think this is what Mr. Marley was divinely conveying to us through lyrics about three little birds. You see, they are free, and in harmony, because they trust all that was given to them without interfering with the natural flow of things. In the eyes of God, are we not more important than the birds? Exactly.
“Don’t worry. About a thing…. Cause’ every little thing is gonna be alright!” What an empowering place to be!