Beyonce stopped the world with her release of Lemonade last weekend.
Say what you want about Formation, but I loved it! I never looked at it as a diss on the police force, but rather a call to action for more accountability on the people who are supposed to protect us. Having worked in the mental health field for years, I see how the “caretakers” or “advocates” can actually abuse their power, and I am sure this is a truth that carries into all positions of power and authority, and there needs to be more accountability. I will say this and I am not proud of it: while working as a therapist there were times when I was angry about something and would go to facilitate a group, and the clients would get the “hot seat” treatment where they were challenged harder because of what was happening with me personally. I am sure this truth carries over to others, especially for some policemen getting a more trigger happy and rough when they have something going on in their life. There needs to be greater accountability and mental health support (seriously how is therapy not a requirement for all police officers? They see some traumatic and awful shit) and requirements for people across the world, but especially for people in positions of authority, power, or care taking.
Anyway I digress… this is about Lemonade! Seriously this is one hour of dope music and captivating visuals that will take you on an emotional rollercoaster of anger, pride, sadness, and love.
Seriously, this is art with tons of life lessons and messages in it. I am barely scratching the surface in this post of the life lessons in Lemonade:
1. Be true to you above all else. Beyonce says ” I tried to change. Closed my mouth more. Tried to be softer, prettier, less awake.” – Don’t change who you are it will only dull you down. Nothing puts me off more by a person than insecurities and trying to conform… maybe it’s because I’ve dulled myself too many times to be liked or try to fit in only to feel totally miserable and hating myself.
2. Your actions effect others. When Bey sings “What a wicked way to treat the girl who loves you” – seriously I had a knot in my stomach of hurt and anxiety. Seriously people, I preach this all the time, but humanity is based on the sense of community. Community lifts people up and inspires people. The way we treat others, directly or indirectly matters.
3. Never lose yourself or give them your power. “So what are you going to say at my funeral now that you’ve killed me? Here lies the body of the love of my life whose heart I broke without a gun to my head. Here lies the mother of my children both loving and dead. Rest in peace my true love who I took for granted. Most bomb p*ssy.”
4. You can break the cycle. You can be better, live better than your parents. One of the most powerful moments in the video is when Beyonce shares home movies of her as a little girl with her father, immediately followed by home videos of her father with her daughter, which goes into a “mother daughter” talk like scene, where she says “Am I talking about your husband, or your father?”, implying the cycle of abuse makes these two indistinguishable from one another. Bey then sings “Why do you deny yourself heaven? Why do you consider yourself undeserving? Why are you afraid of life? You think it’s not possible for someone like you? But you are the love of my life….There is a curse that will be broken” – Showing that we can challenge the cycle, we can be better, we can break the cycle.
5. Turn lemons into Lemonade. “Take 1 pint of water, add a half pound of sugar, the juice of 8 lemons, the zest of half a lemon, pour the water from one jug into the other several times. Strain through a thin napkin. Grandmother, the alchemist. You spun gold out of this hard life. Conjured beauty from the things left behind. Found healing where it did not live. Discovered the antidote in your own kitchen. Broke the curse with your own two hands. You passed the instructions down to your own daughter. Then she passed it down to her daughter.” In another home movie, Bey’s grandmother shares how she was served lemons in her life and she made it into lemonade. A great reminder that no matter what cards you were dealt, you have the choice and power to change the perspective.
6. Nothing real can be threatened. “My grandma said nothing real can be threatened. True love brought salvation back into me. With every tear came redemption. And my torture became my remedy.” – Damn I needed that. I was literally crying by this point again. Seriously think about how powerful a statement that is… every time we find ourselves angry, jealous, or threatened… the answer is true love. When I think of true love, I think of faith. When I think of true love I think of it towards ourselves, not others. Isn’t that the answer? Finding a way to truly love ourselves, our fears and our insecurities, our intuition and our strengths, to live a life of purpose and passion and security? When we find home in our own hearts, no one can take that away.
7. Never give up on yourself. In the words of Bey, “I’ma keep running. Cause a winner don’t quit on themselves”