Lyrical Lessons – Part I


Ok, so what the heck am I up to now, right? Well, this is an idea that I’ve been kicking around for the past little while, and I think it’s time to move forward on it.

For me, I am a big fan of great music. Like your typical Gen-X’r the tastes run the spectrum and will likely continue to do so for years to come. These posts will draw on lyrics from different sources that simply, stand out. Lyrics that are a catalyst for thoughts that allow us to explore different ideas and concepts to simply gain better understanding. The great part is that by looking at sections of a song, and specifically, a section of the lyrics, we are able to get away from personal impressions of good vs. bad music as we see it.

To prove this, I thought we’d start off with some great lyrics, by a group that I’m pretty sure very few (if any) of my readership has even heard of before..

I cannot turn my feelings down
Beyond my means to turn my thoughts around
Expressed in every word I will ever speak
Brighter than all the stars combined
More than the waters, Earth, and sky
All that I wish and all that I dream
No creed on Earth can replace or provide
In my darkest hour, the comfort I’d feel
Leading me to see I can be more than I expect of me
My beginning and my end
The first and last air that I breathe
More than the sum of everything that I will ever be

– “Arena”, Matter+Form, VNV Nation

Now before you ask what VNV stands for, here it is, direct from their site:

One of the most frequently asked questions is what the letters VNV stand for. They stand for “Victory not Vengeance”. The meaning behind this stylized motto is that one should strive to achieve, not sit in bitter regret.

Not exactly something you’d get from some of your bigger groups now is it?

As for the lyrics, right off the top it really begs the question: what do I express in every word that I will ever speak? We all have the capacity to express ourselves to the fullest, yet, there are times when we hold back for fear of ridicule, rejection, or any number of things we tell ourselves.

The challenge with truly expressing ourselves is that it requires emotions and a strong self-image. Typically we have no problem with the emotion side of things, but get tripped up by our own self-image. We have a certain way we do life, and have certain expectations of ourselves. Now, anyone involved in personal development has higher expectations than most (and good on you!), however, there is a significant percentage of the population that doesn’t have high enough expectations.

What’s sad is that there is very little leading them to see that they can be more than they expect of themselves.

I remember the first time I heard the line “Leading me to see I can be more than I expect of me”, and I remember thinking to myself that the expectations I have of myself are so incredibly limited, small, and short-sighted, that they’re really, not worth having at all…

Wait. I can be more than I expect of myself? I’m the limiting factor in all of this?!
So how do I not be the limiting factor? Self-image?!

Regardless of where we actually set our expectations, we can in fact be more, however, our own self-image sets the level of our expectations.

Photo by Stefan Malzkorn, courtesy of

4 thoughts on “Lyrical Lessons – Part I

  1. This is so true. And I love the way you built up to that truth. “Self image sets the level of our expectations.” I love it! Do you mind if I quote you?

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