As womxn, we have so many expectations and concepts placed upon us. We’re told to be humbly modest; we’re shown that we need soulmates to be happy, and we’re taught to act as emotional therapists so as to take care of everyone but ourselves (because that would be “too selfish”). But we do not have to follow any of these made-up rules. Instead, we can search further to reaffirm and empower ourselves that we’re content on our own and proud of it! These lyrics and songs, for example, serve as great mottos for this:
- “Yeah, I’m my own soulmate / I know how to love me / I know that I'm always gonna hold me down” – Lizzo’s “Soulmate”
- “It’s really out of my control / How you feel is not my problem” – Willow Smith’s “Female Energy”
This lyric has been stuck in my head this whole week, and I realized it’s because of how relevant it is to my life right now. I, as a self-aware people-pleaser, tend to take on other people’s emotions and reactions as my responsibility. In reality, I have no control over them and shouldn’t blame myself for how they act or whatever they say. It is not anyone’s job to make everyone else happy all the time, especially when trying to protect your peace first.
- “Of course she was sad / But now she’s glad she dodged a bullet / Took a few years to soak up the tears / But look at her now / Watch her go” – Selena Gomez’s “Look at Her Now”
To me, this lyric really affirms that everyone goes through painful things. It’s okay to take as long as you want to feel through them, but once you’re on the other side, you’ll look back and be grateful for it. If you believe that everything in life is happening for you and not to you, you’ll realize that it’ll become much easier to look for the silver lining on stormy days. Whatever pain you may be going through right now might be saving you from something worse.
- “I need to love myself before I love anyone else” – Olivia O’Brien’s “Love Myself”
The validity of this motto is often debated back and forth, but I believe it has some truth to it. Loving yourself before loving anyone else isn’t meant to hold anyone back, but to give them the tools to move forward. If you love yourself 20%, someone can give you 30% and you’ll think that’s all you deserve, but if you love yourself 100%, you’ll eventually receive that 100% or more back by having the strength to not settle for anything less.
- “I don't need to impress you / I don't need to win your love / No one else completes my life /I'm just a girl / And I am enough” – Cimorelli’s “I Am Enough”
The first time I heard this song, I was confused. I didn’t understand why the singers equated compliments with hate all throughout the lyrics; yet, now I see that what they meant is more powerful than lots of other songs. Receiving love is great, but you shouldn’t consume yourself with it nor hate. Whether someone likes you or despises you should not alter your perception of yourself. Be confident that you will love yourself even if no one is around to confirm.
Often, it’s easy to get caught up listening to whatever sounds good or even drowning in sad songs all day, but music is really a doorway into your emotions. We think our music reflects our already set mood but maybe our moods change to reflect our music. Try listening to songs with empowering messages or even take your favorite messages and write them down, employ them into your life, then see how your perspective may start to change!