What the Rock Band The Eagles Teaches About Our Inner Guide
One of my favorite musical groups of all-time is The Eagles. Their music is spellbinding and their lyrics always seem to speak to my heart and soul. One of their most popular songs, Lying Eyes, provides a great metaphor for how our inner guide speaks to us and how we choose (or not) to follow its guidance.
The song portrays a beautiful young woman who learns that her smile and beauty open doors for her. Seeing this to her advantage, she decides to use these attributes to provide her security for the rest of her life. She sets out to marry for wealth and not for love. She figures that,
“A rich old man and she won’t have to worry.”
She finds a wealthy man and marries him, but she soon gets the first urgings from within that she is off her path,
“Late at night the big old house gets lonely.“
Our heroine didn’t realize there would be a price to pay for her choice of “refuge”. Here again, her higher self tries to tell her there is more to life than comfort and wealth. The message is delivered in a realization by our star that she is giving her love to “a man with hands as cold as ice.”
This part of the story should be recognizable. Many of us who have given our lives over to lesser gods — a good paying job, a powerful position, sex, fame, drugs and alcohol, to name a few — understand her emptiness and disappointment she feels when she discovers that the choices she was sure would take away her worries did not bring her any fulfillment. She feels trapped because she did not consider other alternatives and now lacks the courage to let go of the security she chose.
Few people take heed when their inner guide speaks to them. The rest of us ignore these first calls because it is painful to admit we made a mistake and now need to make changes. Our ego presents this to us as “you have invested a lot on this direction, so you better stick with it.” Often, we turn our attention to other external things to distract us from the hollow feelings we hold inside. The young woman in this song follows a similar path when she takes on a lover. She soon finds out this is not the answer, but she lingers on with the affair. She knows she is not living a life of integrity. The person she can’t “hide her lying eyes” from is herself. Those of us who’ve presented a public life to others while we lived a secret life in private know this feeling too well. We see our eyes in the mirror and know we live as a splintered personality unsure of which half represents our true selves.
This song does a great job addressing the trap we create for ourselves when we rely on external things to define us. We already see our protagonist is trapped by her desire to live a life of comfort and luxury and then takes on a lover to avoid making a change. The old man has similar challenges. He is imprisoned by his desires to have a beautiful younger woman at his side. But rather than confront the reality of his marriage, he puts up with her cheating so as to not provoke her into leaving him. The lover too is in a similar bind. He is ensnared by his desire for sex and intimacy, but even though he knows he can’t really get that from his mistress, he goes along with the tryst all the while suspecting she will never leave her husband for him. These signs of suspicion and discontent are the inner messages of being off course for these three people.
They are probably unaware that, as it is for every person, their destiny to evolve into their highest selves is inevitable. Sooner or later, the pain of staying in these unfulfilling situations becomes greater than the fear of making a change. The following lyrics show the growing pain in our lead character,
“She gets up and pours herself a strong one,
And Stares out at the stars up in the sky.
Another night, it’s gonna be a long one.
She draws the shade and hangs her head to cry.”
It is not difficult to predict where this is all headed. Either she makes the life change required on her own, or they will be thrust upon her. Chances are she will continue to have lovers until she gets caught or until her husband replaces her with someone younger and more beautiful. More than likely, the suspecting old man has already been looking at legal ways to protect his fortune from her for when the time comes for a divorce. Her choice is simple, either she takes steps to live a life of integrity centered on her authentic self, or she will wake up one day to confront her destiny much older, lonely and without the wealth she once placed her happiness on.
The fate is no better for the husband. The old man may still be rich, but will not experience love from his wife. If he leaves her for a younger, more beautiful woman, he will only know partners who are just interested in his wealth and not in him. Until he is ready to accept that he is worthy of love just as he is and choses a partner who values him, he will continue to attract the wrong kind of partners. .
It is not very satisfying for the lover either. as time goes on, he will feel lonelier and depleted by her in the periods between visits. The realization he served as distraction will become apparent when she stops the affair. When he chooses to believe that he deserves a person who can commit her love to him without reservation, then he will be free to leave her and grow into a more authentic person. Otherwise, he will grow older and disheartened by the thought he has not known true love.
The Eagles do provide hope towards the end of the song. This happens when our protagonist discovers a truth about herself.
“My oh my, you sure know how to arrange things.
You set it up so well so carefully.
Ain’t it funny how your new life didn’t change things?
You are still the same old girl you used to be.”
She knows her truth now. The life she planned to make her happy didn’t, and she realizes there is a real person inside of her waiting to come out. This is where change begins.
My apologies to the Eagles if I have butchered their song with my interpretation, but I happen to believe they authored a brilliant message about how our inner guide works by using the elements in our lives to teach us lessons. But it does not interfere, it allows us to apply what we learn and act accordingly. When we are out of our path, our inner guide uses what we consider “negative” feelings to get our attention. In this song our star experiences loneliness, emptiness and melancholy. Yet, her inner guide used these feelings as an invitation for her to change. It also allowed her to make the choice.
My life would have been infinitely better had I listened to those inner urgings and made a change rather than having been forced into them. But I can’t change that now; all I can do is bring this to your attention so that you can live a more inspired life rather than one of trial and error.
Our path is actually very clear to us but has been muddled by our false logic and beliefs. Know that you are free to follow a path centered on the knowledge that you are unique, perfect and have a real purpose in this life. Or, you can sabotage it by following an external path centered on the material world and on pleasing others. Take heed, however, for your inner guide — or the Universe/God/Higher Power, or whatever name you use for this inner voice — has no preference on how you elect to learn your life lessons. It will work with whatever curriculum you choose.
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