Ep 17: Halo – Violator In A Van

Today we talk about Freedom and Luxury.

Being free of:

  • other people’s expectations.
  • the expectations we put on ourselves
  • the limits that we place on ourselves
  • all the times we make ourselves wrong
  • all the times we restrain and constrict and censor ourselves

and having the luxury of

  • not feeling stressed or overwhelmed or confused
  • knowing that you’re fundamentally okay
  • the luxury of having more time or more money
  • feeling confident or happy
  • the luxury of having a dream and being able to go for it
  • living life true to yourself

Full Interview Transcript

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The number one regret of the dying is “I wish I’d had the courage to live life true to myself and not the life others expected of me. Don’t let that be you. I’m Laura Li. I’m an introvert and a highly sensitive person. I know it can be difficult in the noisy, hustle, bustle world to feel comfortable or to fit in. And I know it’s hard to hear our own voice over the chorus of what other people think. We’re afraid to step into our dreams swinging between the fear of not being good enough and being too much. Welcome to Quality Bohemian where I encourage you to let go of expectations and limitations and where I support you to live life true to yourself guided by your inner wisdom not your inner critic.

Welcome to episode 17 of Quietly Bohemian and a continuation of season two Violator in a Van. We're up to track four, which is Halo. And I've been sat here a while thinking about what I'd like to talk about in reference to this song.

And I feel like I don't even want to talk about it at all. I said before that Vviolator is, it must be considered Depeche Mode’s finest album, both by fans and I don't know, non-fans music critics, whatever we might call them alike.

And you know, it must be something about the maturity of the band of Martin Gore as a person and a songwriter. And the purity of Dave's voice during this period. And I almost feel like I will break the magic by delving into what does this song mean.

I think in some ways, this is just a very straightforward song. It seems to be about and elicit affair. Something elicit something immoral. And I wouldn't exactly say that Martin's advocating elicit or immoral behavior, but he certainly seems to be saying, let's just crack on and whatever the consequences it would have been worth it.

But when I listen to this song, and I don't I have to put any words to what my interpretation of the song is; when it is just about me feeling it, the experience I have of this song is of something very different somehow,

It goes to that place inside of us that's beyond words. If you've ever learnt a foreign language and you start to get into that language as I have done a little bit with French, even though I don't speak French, I understand it a little bit, and my main source of listening to French quite honestly, is Celine Dion songs.

I can listen to them and get a sense of what the song is trying to say. But trying to translate that into English is quite difficult. And it's the same with this. Trying to translate this song, the experience I have of it, into English is very difficult and there is no way that I would do it justice.

But here it has come up for discussion this week. It starts out brilliantly. “You wear guilt, like shackles on your feet, like a halo in reverse”. So first of all, the guilt, like shackles on our feet, and as if that isn't enough, he's turned it into a reverse halo and then given the song, the title Halo, and I don't know what to make of that.

Whether he's telling us to take our attention off the guilt, but he's certainly done that in the song title and I like the way he does that. We'll find out about that again in Policy of Truth in a few weeks where the title of the song is not necessarily reflected in the song’s lyric.

And we could talk about guilt, but I went into that a little bit last week. So if we carry on, he says, “I can feel the discomfort in your seat and in your head it's worse”. And there's loads that we could dive into there about the discomfort that we feel and how in our head we magnify everything and how our overthinking or even just our thinking complicates things.

But I think the part that's really speaking to me today is the next few lines where he says, “There's a pain, a famine in your heart, an aching to be free”. And I often feel that he's speaking to me when I listen to these songs and almost kind of vindicating me. I don't know why I feel I need to be vindicated, but sometimes I do feel that when I'm listening and I don't resonate with what I think this song is talking about at all in the chorus, “When our worlds, they fall apart, When the walls come tumbling in, though we may deserve it, it will be worth it”.

Maybe that only applies to a select naughty few of us! There's a pain, a famine in your heart, an aching to be free, and I love a famine in your heart. I've never known the word be used in that way before. And like I do sometimes, I think I know what a word means and how to use it, but I'll look it up anyway, and it told me that it meant shortage and scarcity, which I expected, but also an archaic form, and this makes sense is hunger. There's a hunger in your hearts or a scarcity.

And I think that can be true. There's a hunger in your heart and it's aching. Aching to be free. And if we think about what are we hungering for, we're hungering to feel enough, to feel good enough, to feel loved, to feel that we're making a difference to the people around us, to the world.

And we want to be free. We want to be free of other people's expectations. The expectations we put on ourselves, the limits that we place on ourselves, we want to be free of all the times we make ourselves wrong, of all the times we restrain and constrict ourselves. You know, the times when we censor ourselves when we won't express all of who we are.

So honestly, I really don't think that Martin is saying this at all in this song, and I'm not even saying necessarily that I have thought this when I've listened to this song, but when I have heard those lines, I have definitely been moved. I have definitely felt that famine in my heart and that aching to be free.

And he then goes on to say, can't you see all love’s luxuries are here for you and me. And I want you to see that all love’s luxuries, and all life's luxuries are here for you. And we're calling them luxuries, because perhaps that's how things seem when they feel out of reach or like they're not meant for us. But really they're luxuries in the sense of, they're just lovely, lovely things that we would like to have -  and they are available to us in any and every moment.

So if you want the luxury of not feeling stressed or overwhelmed or confused, or of knowing that you're fundamentally okay, or  the luxury of having more time or more money or feeling confident or happy, or the luxury of having a dream and being able to go for it because you don't let unhelpful thinking stop you anymore, or, the ultimate luxury for a Quiet Bohemian: living life true to yourself - then I want you to know that the only thing stopping you from doing impossible things is your thinking. And that wraps up this week and as ever, thank you very much for listening.

If you know today’s the day you’re finally ready to come out of hiding and start making your dreams come true, I invite you to join me for some 1:1 support in my Spirit Run Wild coaching programme. Head over to https://quietlybohemian.com/coaching/ for more details and to book a Discovery Session to see if it’s for you.

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