When life gives you lemons...
Beyoncé has done it again! She recently released her album PLUS an hour-long visual entitled LEMONADE. It sparked conversation from not only women, but men also. In this album, Bey shed light on her marriage issues (allegedly, haha) with Jay-Z and I must say, she BARED ALL (well, we think she did). Every song and shot from her visual revealed so much pain, passion, and transparency. We got a chance to see Bey in a way that we have never seen her before...and I loved it! While listening to LEMONADE on my ride home the other day, I began to dissect the lyrics because I wanted to get a full understanding of the message that she wanted to portray. I know that only Bey herself can say exactly what this project meant to her, but I made note of a few points that I feel every women should take away from this album.
*Disclaimer: a few of the lyrics are kind of vulgar. Pay attention to the context, not the content please. :)
"Who the f**k do you think I is? You ain't married to no average b***h boy."-DON'T HURT YOURSELF
In the third track, Bey let out a lot of anger...I mean A LOT. I love this song, not just because it has a rock star feel to it, but also because she reminded her man who she was! When life knocks us down, we tend to forget how special we are, how magical we are. We even lose confidence at times, especially when a man is involved. Bey let us know that we have to get up, look in the mirror, and remind ourselves of our worth. WE ARE GREATNESS and any man should be proud to have us on his side...never forget your value.
This particular lyric also reminded me who Bey was...she is far from average AND STILL got cheated on (and again, allegedly). To me, this is her way of saying that no one is exempt from life's tests and trials. No one can avoid hurt and pain in life, no matter how successful you are or how much money is in your bank account. We put her on a pedestal along with so many other notable figures, but this was a great reminder that even they deal with things too. I think it is important for us to remember that money nor fame can buy us happiness, because some of life's struggles are inevitable. EVERYONE will get served lemons at some point...
"Tell him, boy, bye, middle fingers up, I ain't thinking 'bout you."-SORRY
I know you're probably thinking, "what could she have possibly gotten from this line?" Haha! I love this line because it means something a lot more than just, "boy bye!" I think we tend to forget ourselves in the process of a storm...like 99.9% of the time. We need to tell our man (or any situation) "boy bye" until we've had a chance to take care of our wounds. God allows storms to come in our life, relationships, and friendships so that we can come out of them better than we were before. If we wallow in the situation, we can't heal. We need time to think about us and our needs...just time to nurture ourselves.
"When you hurt me, you hurt yourself. Don't hurt your self. When you diss me, you diss yourself..." -DON'T HURT YOURSELF
A lot of times, when people make mistakes, they forget that mistakes can hurt EVERYONE involved. If you cheat on someone, not only are you hurting that person, but you're hurting yourself because now you've lost their trust and will be labeled as disloyal. Bey's song "DON'T HURT YOURSELF" teaches women two main things: a man is playing himself if he hurts a loyal woman and women need to stop blaming themselves for their man's mistakes. She did not clearly state the last point, but that's what I got from it. When I listened to this song, all I could think about is how we tend to think "what did I do to deserve this" every time a man messes up. If a man treats you wrong and you've been nothing but loyal to him, then he's the issue...not you. If he plays you, he's playing himself because he is tarnishing the heart of a true gem which is hard to find.
"I can’t be played, a person trying to play me, plays themselves."-Prince
"Stars in her eyes, she fights for power, keeping time. She grinds day and night. She grinds from Monday to Friday, works from Friday to Sunday."-6 INCH
"6 INCH" is by far my favorite track on the album! This line is also my favorite on the album because the grind never stops...no matter what you're going through. I love how Bey empowers women throughout the entire album, especially when she reminds us to never quit. Whatever life throws your way, continue fighting and COLLECTING YOUR COINS! It's not that you should bury yourself in your work and projects so you can forget what is hurting you. You should just KEEP GOING. Keep slaying through life with your heels high and your head higher!
"Ten times out of nine, I know you're lying, but nine times outta ten, I know you're trying. So I'm trying to be fair..." -LOVE DROUGHT
"Show me your scars and I won't walk away." -SANDCASTLES
"They say true love's the greatest weapon to win the war caused by pain, pain. But every diamond has imperfections, but my love's too pure to watch it chip away."-ALL NIGHT
What is one of the hardest things to do in life? Forgive. I want every listener to be clear on something: this isn't a man-bashing album. This isn't an "all men ain't ...." type of an album. By the end of the album, we can conclude that BEY STILL TOOK JAY BACK. It's not because she's desperate or stupid. It's not because she's accepting the fact that he cheated. (Let me say that again for the misogynistic low-life that may be reading this.) IT'S NOT BECAUSE SHE'S ACCEPTING THE FACT THAT HE CHEATED. (CHEATING IS NEVER, EVER OKAY!) Despite the hurt she's experienced, she was able to forgive. Understand that forgiveness is not so much for the other person, but more so for our own healing and ability to move forward. In Bey's case, true love stood the test of time. Does this always work in other relationships or friendships? No. However, the lesson we can take from this is that we are all human and make mistakes. Those mistakes should not be downplayed because of this fact, but we cannot go through life expecting to not get hurt by HUMANS. Knowing this does not make the "hurt" hurt less, but it does help to know this when we are in the process of forgiving. The album shows us that Bey and Jay were able to do (or are in the process of doing) the three things that Pastor Rick Warren says are the requirements of a restored relationship:
- Restoring a relationship requires repentance.
- Restoring a relationship requires restitution.
- Restoring a relationship requires rebuilding trust.
We must keep this in mind when trying to repair any genuine relationship or friendship that has been broken.
I cannot forget to mention all of the BLACK GIRL MAGIC that was sprinkled throughout LEMONADE. So many phenomenal black women were featured such as Quvenzhané Wallis, Zendaya, Ibeyi, Amandla Stenberg, Chloe and Halle, and Serena Williams. Also, like I mentioned before, this album is the definition of women empowerment. I saw a tweet that read, "Beyoncé is a woman that understands her purpose. Instead of protecting a man's ego, she decided to protect the hearts of females everywhere." Beyoncé bared all of her personal pain (or maybe not, but still haha) to help us women deal with our pain.
LEMONADE illustrated the process of healing that we all have or will face sometime in our life. She went from being hurt to working on herself to allowing herself to grieve her loss and moving forward...even giving her husband a second chance.
Life may serve you the most sour lemons ever, but you can still use them to make the sweetest, "mama-slapping" lemonade!
What were some of your takeaways or fav parts of LEMONDAE? Comment below!