Music has a way of speaking to us; of getting into the quiet spaces, the dark places, the crevices of our soul that we don’t let anyone into because they’re tender to the touch. Music has a way of getting through, and best of all – no one has to know why.
Songs affect everyone differently – you might hear a love ballad where I hear I child’s cry for affection. The point is, music has a way of getting in – our pilfering through the rough spots, softening us around the edges and making us feel like maybe we aren’t alone. And if you want to talk about changing your mind – nothing can get in there like the right song.
I remember when India.Arie dropped her hit album Testimony, Vol. I. On the album was a song that to this day still shakes me up to my core….”I am Ready for Love.” In the beginning of the song India says: I am ready for love/Would you please lend me your ear/I promise I won’t complain/I just need you to acknowledge I am here.”
She continues to profess all the reasons that she’s ready, and in the second verse she gets me: Lately I’ve been thinking maybe you’re not ready for me/Maybe you think I need to learn maturity/They say watch what you ask for ‘cuz you might receive/Well if you ask me tomorrow/I’ll say the same thing/I am ready for Love.
Now almost a decade later, Musiq Soulchild got his hands on me with “Teach Me How to Love.” His verses are powerful all by themselves, but his hook? Teach me how to love/Show me the way to surrender my heart, girl I’m so lost/Teach me how to love/How I can get my emotions involved/Teach me, show me how to love. (I almost had to pull off the road!)
It seems that everybody and their mama (literally) is trying to get a grasp on this thing – and has been for generations. How is it that we can all want it, but no one knows what it is? Is it socialization or our DNA? Regardless, one this is certain….something has got to change. That’s right, we need to change our minds about love…myself included.
First off, we have put Love in a box – a pre-arranged, pre-organized set of rules, expectations, and activities that say “I love you.” That has got to change. We have to venture outside the limits of our mind and set Love free, only then can we recognize and understand the acts of love that we encounter ever day for what they are.
We have to stop placing expectations on people to perform. Everyone didn’t grow up the way you did, everyone doesn’t have the same perceptions and everyone isn’t thinking what you would be thinking if you were doing what they were doing. (Yeah, I said it).
The truth of the matter is, we have to learn how to love unconditionally. If your husband, wife, mother, brother, whomever – didn’t give you another thing in life – could you love them? If your partner fell ill and could never work again, would you stay? How do you stay when you aren’t getting anything out of it? That’s capital L – Love!
And you may be thinking, but if I’m not getting anything out of it then it’s not a reciprocal relationship. I have needs to and they NEED to be met. Well, my friend – you’ve already placed limits, constrictions, confines, expectations and conditions on how far you can go.
Here’s my charge to you: For the next day, pick one relationship (any one). Study it. What is about the relationship that is so troublesome or so wonderful? Can you give to this person for the rest of your life without expecting anything in return? Can you give to anyone in your life in that way? What makes it possible? How can you introduce that level of Love into some of your other relationships?
Change your perceptions, change the way you Love…change the world!
May love, light and harmony abound!
Namaste and God bless,
Kiki B., The WILD Side