John Denver: Warts and All
Updated: Nov 17, 2020
Anita* has been telling me for some time that John Denver wanted to put something on the blog, but somehow I just didn't get around to it, arrogantly thinking, yeah, John Denver, right.... Well, I hope I have learned my lesson - once again, finally? - that prejudging is a leading indicator of being wrong.
"It’s in our strivings and our struggles
that we model what is best in human beings."
Ann: I owe you an apology, I didn’t understand, should have gotten to you sooner.
John Denver: Well, you had a few lightweights ahead of me, you know, Gandhi, Abe Lincoln, Mother Mary and like that.
A: Yeah, that’s what I thought, but you’re not a lightweight, are you?
JD: Annie, none of us are lightweights. I knew it when I was on the planet and could never reconcile myself and my heart’s knowledge of the goodness of the universe with the terrible things we were doing to ourselves and to our environment. I was a part of that, could never admit it, and it tore me apart.
I tried instead to reinforce the good and cancel out the bad. I could not, would not try to understand the shadow. Now the universal shadow which has been pushed down for so long is coming to the fore on this planet with a vengeance. So I want to tell you, all of you, that you must not be ashamed of not being who you think you should be or of not living up to someone else’s standards – or your own standards which are always someone else’s if they're called standards.
A: Is that what you did?
JD: Sure did, and in a microcosmic way my life developed just like the world has. My shadow came out when I was most determined to shut it down, when I polarized myself against myself. I did all sorts of things that I could and would never condone in myself or anyone else, and then got up the next morning and tried to be good again, knowing that I was out of control and would lose the battle. So every day I sentenced myself to hang in effigy for not being able to measure up.
A: What’s the alternative?
JD: Tell the truth. Say you don’t know who you are, say you can’t deal with your life, go to confession with yourself and with your peers and with the elders of the village who can help you understand that the dark side of you is yours to understand, to love, to take out and recognize and to turn into something you can be proud of.
What is it that you want that shames you so? Who would know about that? Who can you trust with that? Go and commune with that person, sit in prayer and meditation and own those dark parts that are tearing you apart and then look at what really feeds you.
Then feed that bear, not the other one and have them talk to each other, for the light bear understands and loves the dark one, and when they speak together, they see the loving being in each that longs to be one with the other and can be one when love is freely given between the two.
I thought I had to only model the best of me, not the struggle. And I tried to be only that and shut out the rest. You know about the pious man who speaks the gospel and sins in secret? That was me because I somehow thought I had to be better than anyone else or no one would love me.
Well, I am here to tell you that nothing could be further from the truth. It’s in our strivings and our struggles that we model what is best in human beings and our Creator who has always loved us. We need to open ourselves to life on this planet as spirit and human in one being. I am here to bolster your efforts to integrate the forces that seem to be pulling at you, pushing you in opposite directions and which, if unchecked, will tear you apart. We are whole, warts and all – and we don’t need to hide the warts, for they are part of what makes us holy.
November 23, 2019