“Ride the Lightning”

“Lightening” By: Eric Church is definitely one of my favorite songs because of the lyrics and how it is presented to the audience.  This song is played with conviction and with the acoustic way Eric sings the song, it’s rough and real. “Lightening” is about about a man on death row awaiting his execution for robbing a liquor store and killing a man in the process.  He robbed the liquor store to provide for his family and baby daughter.

The song makes several references that I can equate to living with addiction, bipolar and other emotions / mental disorders:

  • “Four walls closing in on me”
  • “They’re going to set me free”
  • “As the devil guards this door”
  • “I hit my knees in search of Jesus”
  • “Lord I hope she forgives me”
  • “Now I’m flying up and out of here”
  • “Lord I hope you forgive me for living my life this way”
  • “I close my eyes and slowly rise”
  • “Let my body leave this share”
  • “Tonight I ride the lightening”

Living a life in active addiction is like sitting on death row with the devil guarding the door and having four walls closing in on you.  Addiction is relentless and at some point, if not treated properly, it will result in death, serious injury, financial devastation, etc.  As a person goes through treatment or adapts to sobriety / active recovery, the feelings and emotions I have had from personal experience is “being set free”.  Closing my eyes and slowing rising from the depths of pure hell / chaos as I ride the lightening, with my spirit on fire, to active recovery / free living.

Forgiveness is also another part of this song and needs to be recognized by every single person going through treatment for addiction or living in active recovery after treatment.  Forgiveness and trust from others probably will not be granted over night, but trust is something that can be built back, if the bridge is still in tact.  If you have completely burned that bridge down to the ground, I recommend you learn from that experience and move on.  You can definitely try to rebuild it, but what I am saying is, please don’t dwell and focus on that particular relationship right away, as it might fall into place later in life. When I left treatment the first time, I begged and pleaded with my ex-girlfriend to at least speak to me and once I realized I was causing more harm and stress to myself, I finally handed it over to my Higher Power, God.  I was no longer pleading for forgiveness, but I learned from the pain I caused her and the pain she had caused me during our relationship.  In the song, by killing a woman’s son, I don’t think he was given forgiveness, but prison’s are filled with people that have been for wrongs they have done under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol.  Forgiving yourself and letting go is my key point here. Without self-forgiveness, it’s impossible to move on with a free and clear mind to improve your your life, whatever that next step may be.  I challenge you to take the steps of self-forgiveness before you ask for forgiveness from others.  Your approach will be more genuine and honest with a spiritual mind.  

In regards to the song, I recommend you first listen to it by processing the vibe from the sound of the guitar to the words he is singing.  Then listen to it from a different perspective of how ever you’d like to and what kind of challenges you are facing today.  Hear it through your heart, spirit and soul through the eyes of an addict, alcoholic, person with bipolar, depressed, someone having a rough day or even someone having a great.  Life is all about perception and how you interrupt situations, scenarios and things.

Your perceptions and interpretations of events derive your thoughts and thoughts drive mental and/or physical actions.  

“Lightning” – By: Eric Church

These four walls of Farnworth
Are closin’ in on me
My final meal’s over
They’re gonna set me free
I can feel the fire’s a burnin’
As the devil guards my door
I hit my knees in search of Jesus
On a cold jailhouse floor

[Chorus:]
Lord, now I’m singin’:
“Get me out of here”
I see the preacher’s eyes
As my daughter cries
When they strap me in this chair
Lord, I hope she forgives me
For livin’ my life this way
Tonight I ride the lightning
To my final judgment day

Every life owes a death
That’s what the Bible says
I owe mine to this state
For shootin’ that boy to death
A liquor store attendant
He was reachin’ for his gun
Now his Momma sits there smilin’
As the boss yells “Roll on one

Now I’m singin’
“Get me out of here”
I see the preacher’s eyes
As my daughter cries
And they strap me in this chair
I hope she forgives me
For leavin’ her this way
Tonight I ride the lightning
To my final restin’ place

A hungry blue eyed baby cryin’
Made me rob that store
An’ as that boy lay there dyin’
I dropped my pistol on the floor
Yeah, I’d take it all back but there’s nothin’ I can do
They’ve covered my face
An’ the order’s gone through
As the boss yells “Roll on, two”

Now I’m flyin’
Up an’ out of here
I close my eyes an’ slowly rise
Let my body leave this chair
Lord I hope you forgive me
For livin’ my life this way
Yeah, tonight I ride the lightning
To my final restin’ place

These four walls of Farnworth
Are closin’ in on me

One thought on ““Ride the Lightning”

  1. Self-forgiveness…that is something that I was never able to accomplish in my past attempts at getting sober and likely one of the things that kept me from staying sober for very long. In the past year, I have been learning to be more gentle with myself the way I try to be with others. In spite of continued drinking, the increasing ability to be gentle with myself and take steps toward self-forgiveness is making sobriety seem possible, since I am not drowning in intense self-hatred and shame.

    Liked by 1 person

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