I very much like the song I Cry by Flo Rida. I can literally listen to it over and over again, consecutively. The rhythm energy of it is extraordinary — you don’t move to it, it moves you. And as terrific as the song is, the accompanying music video is just as terrific… and maybe even better.
I was surprised when I initially saw the music video. I thought I Cry was some sort of nightclub party song. That’s what the song’s tempo feels like. After watching the music video though I now know that I Cry is a song about suffering.
Isn’t that something.
Flo Rida is a quite accomplished musical act. He’s sold millions of musical units (albums, downloads, etc.). Money, acclaim, influence — Flo Rida has it all. How many musical acts would just about kill to be where he is? But he makes a song about suffering. His own suffering.
How can this be?
It reminds me of listening to a podcast and hearing someone state that (paraphrasing) ‘It’s a rough path back to the Creator.’ What struck me about this is the person who said it seemed, to me at least, to be against type: a retired military man. A military man admitting, essentially, that life is hard? Neither did this fellow appear to be down on his luck: I didn’t take him to be destitute, at the least he had some money coming in from a military pension, he also had a family and I judged that he had been married for decades.
What was he lacking that made him see life as difficult?
His statement was a significant insight for me, as is the message behind I Cry: suffering is widespread, and even those with comfortable external circumstances still experience suffering.
Surely I myself don’t experience suffering? How could I given that I’m the author of a blog about experiencing a happy life? I only wish it were so that I never suffer. The life experience is nothing if not a regular opportunity to feel suffering, even for me — if not especially for me.
What may be the difference between me and many other people is how I approach suffering. I consider suffering to be an internal condition. This is typically an absolute contradiction to how most people view suffering.
The average person believes suffering is caused by conditions separate from them, whether these conditions be financial problems or depression or whatever else. Suffering comes from out there and I must do this and that to make out there change. I say look within yourself instead.
I don’t mean to indicate that you must improve yourself somehow. I don’t consider it be an issue of self-improvement. To the contrary, I believe it has to do with letting the self be as it truly is.
What do I mean by this?
Coping with suffering often entails adding something. I have to do this, to improve this, to add this, and then I’ll be at peace. But we may be quite surprised to learn that the peace and happiness we seek is in place and that what we must do to end suffering is to eliminate rather than add. Eliminate what? Eliminate the barriers to the peace and happiness that is already in place.
The barriers in fact essentially amount to a single barrier: thought. Thinking, particularly incessant and negative or pessimistic thought streams, block our internal light of well-being. To say that the barrier needs to be eliminated is probably not the best descriptive choice because it may infer force. Force as a solution typically does not work because force applied leads to force returned.
A better word choice may be to not indulge thought. Let thought be as it is but don’t become one with or inherently accept it as truth. Observe it impartially from a distance.
Is this enough to end the suffering so many of us experience, including mega successful musicians life Flo Rida? It may not end all suffering but it is a tremendous help if suffering does appear, and generally changes life much for the better.
Do you find this hard to believe? Why not try it and see the truth of it for yourself.