Now that you've been listening to that playlist... (part 2 of 2)

So, I'm super curious...
How's your playlist? How are the feels from listening to it? Any surprises?

One of the songs from my list is "I Belong to You" by Lenny Kravitz. Some of the lyrics:
"You are the flame in my heart
You light my way in the dark
....
Your unconditional love
Takes me to paradise
I belong to you
And you, you belong to me too
...
You make my life complete
You make me feel so sweet
...
You make me feel so divine
Your soul and mine are entwined
Before you I was blind
...
I always loved you from the start
But I could not figure out
That I had to do it everyday
So I put away the fight
Now I'm gonna live my life
Giving you the most in every way"

I love that song because it reminds me of the real, daily work it takes to sustain love.

One of my favorite songs is "Sometimes" by James. It's not a love song per se, but because it makes me want to dance around barefoot and cry and laugh and tell everyone in the world I love them, it's a love song for me. Some lyrics:
"An old man's taking Polaroids
But all he captures is endless rain, endless rain, endless rain
He says listen, takes my head and puts my ear to his
And I swear I can hear the sea
Sometimes, I look in your eyes
I can see your soul, I can reach your soul
Sometimes, I look in your eyes
I can see your soul, I can touch your soul
Sometimes, I look in your eyes
I can see your soul, I can hear your soul"

There are some instrumentals as well. Obviously no lyrics to share, but if you've never heard Samuel Barber's "Adagio," I recommend sitting somewhere you won't be interrupted and listening intently.

But the real point—what's the purpose of this playlist?

The purpose is that I want you to consider yourself as the object of the songs. In other words, don't think of another person or other people as the receiver(s) of the love, the energy, the attention, of the songs. Think of you as the receiver. Let the songs be dedicated to you.

The next part of this step is to notice, deeply, keenly notice, how that feels. We're so accustomed to imparting our love onto others that we don't think about imparting that same love to ourSelves.

The Lenny Kravitz song was one of the first to teach me that lesson. I was thinking about the fact that romantic relationships take work—that line "I always loved you from the start / But I could not figure out / That I had to do it everyday." Somehow, that made me think about my struggles with self-love—how easily I give up on it, how stingy I can be with it.

Suddenly, I thought, Shouldn't I always love myself? And how is that any more work than the love in a romantic relationship? I heard the next lines: "Now I'm gonna live my life / Giving you the most in every way." Wait a sec—don't I deserve that? I'm going to be living my life with me every day.

Then I thought about other lines in the song: "You make my life complete." Don't I—my thoughts, my actions, my beliefs—complete my own life? Then I thought about the chorus—the title, for heaven's sake—of the song: "I belong to you." Don't I belong to me?

I nearly laughed out loud. But once I had time, I compiled a playlist of all the love songs that moved me. Then I listened to all those songs, with the perspective of me singing them to mySelf. It felt so different—so utterly, completely different—to think of me as worthy of the respect, the concern, the care, the kindness, the love of those songs.

For example, I had gravitated towards a song called "I Belong to You"—a song full of affirmations and unconditional support. I judged me frequently and deemed me unworthy. I didn't love me unconditionally; I didn't find sweetness or completion. I realized how much true, authentic, deep self-love I lacked—a realization that was acutely painful. Yet, the songs also provided me with the lessons of how to work on that self-love.

You get the idea. This is not my declaration that you are lacking in self-love. The point is for you to do some analysis on you—to dig into the wisdom that your songs hold for you. And perhaps you'll hear your own music in a new way.

Here's to you, and to love.

Blessed be,
Stephanie

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