I’ll Take It From “Here”
I think we all knew on a surface level what the whole “no make-up” movement was about for Alicia Keys: A woman loving herself, flaws and all. But this new album, “Here”, really says everything that most women haven’t been able to articulate, or don’t want to, and child, I am HERE for this album. It was an anthem for women to go to the beat of their own drum and embracing the lessons you take along the way.
Let me be very transparent about Ms. Keys for a second…for some reason I really didn’t always vibe to all of Alicia’s songs, but the girl has got some talent and there is no denying that. But I’ve been paying very close attention to her this past year and she is definitely evolving in ways I can relate to and it has made me gravitate towards her more on a different level. When she sings now, her lyricism makes me feel like I’m talking to my girlfriend on the phone and their giving me advice, empowering me. That’s what I want when I hear music. Don’t get me wrong, when it’s time to bump Young Dolph I’ll blast him in my car quick, lol, but I love that “feel good” music that keeps me grounded and empowered too.
“Pawn It All”
I could sense she was really talking about her lessons learned during her upbringing in New York on this album and I’m blessed to have the chance to hear that. The over-arching message that I got, though, was don’t be afraid to let it ALL go and sometimes you’re going to have to in order to understand and experience what true bliss is. “Pawn It All” articulated this message perfectly I can’t contain myself every time I hear it. My mentor once told me, “You have to die in order to be reborn.” Not in the literal sense, but you have to revaluate the things about yourself and in your life and make that courageous decision to just let it all go fearlessly. A lot of times we’ll make the conscious decision to let it go because we know it’s harming us. Other times we’ll have something so crazy happen to us and then in that moment it’s revealed to us what the problem is. Too many times we think we’re filling our cup with the right things, but in reality its empty. The past two years for me has been an absolute whirlwind, but when I reflect I realized how much I let go. I’ve had to let go of people, materialistic things, false realities I was telling myself, and insecurities that weren’t allowing me to just BE.
“Illusion of Bliss”
What really gives your soul life? Honestly. Is it your man/woman? The money you make? The job you have? Whatever it is make sure it’s not something temporary and that it is long-lasting for you. We look so hard sometimes in things that are temporary to give us this life-long satisfaction and fall for the fake illusion of bliss. I want my life to be elevated in ways unimaginable, but first I want and to elevate my soul, my spirit. When we don’t, we fall victim in our minds. We “need” someone or something to make us feel “whole”. We “need” the validation from friends and lovers that we matter to them. What we NEED to do is sit the hell back and learn how to be with you. I am my comfort through it all. I am my biggest cheerleader. Now, what I will say is that it is a wonderful feeling to be able to share that with someone but not everyone will get to have that privilege. Yes, it is a privilege for others to be in on your light and you must recognize that.
“Girl Can’t Be Herself”
It really does pain me when I see women, black women in particular, not being honest with themselves and then in turn can’t be honest with others. I get it. It can be very hard. Take it from a girl who was silenced at every chance I tried to express myself growing up. It became a norm for me of feeling that I would be judged for my thoughts. That girl used to be me, so I know. It wasn’t an easy road to get where I’m at now, but at the end of the day I had to face reality. Reality was that I was hurting myself inside by not being true to myself and not allowing my relationships with people who really cared to flourish. This goes back to my previous blog post, “Eliminate the Need to be Understood”. Too many times we walk and talk according to what we think is going to make us look good to others and honestly…who the hell cares? We should all be able to walk in our truth and not worry about others thoughts about it. But when you do worry about others, it’s a choice. A choice that I chose to change. If I have something to say, I say it with as much love as I can and how you receive it is on you, but I did myself the honor of saying what I needed to say and doing what I needed to do. I don’t wear make-up everyday, because it’s too much of a hassle to put it on every morning, LOL. I choose to not go out every Saturday because sometimes I just want to write, watch Netflix, and chill with myself and have no problem telling my friends “No” to an invite without feeling bad or the need to explain. I choose not to be affected by what other people are going to think. A big factor for this is certainty. Someone told me that “Certainty is the enemy of us truly listening.” We can go into too many situations with assumptions already and not allow yourself the opportunity to listen and just be honest with it all. It pains me overall when I see this in action and hear others talk like this. We all deserve to have our cup full with the right things, but it starts with YOU first. Don’t fall victim to the pressures of society. If they with you then great, if not keep it moving with no regrets and keep doing you.
Overall, Ms. Keys has some strong messages in her music and I loved how she broke it down so articulately. All women, young women, should listen to this because she has some messages that I know a lot of us are not ready to admit to ourselves in order to face our truths.