The 2023 A-to-Z blogging challenge theme is resilience. Resilience is the ability to get back on our feet and keep going after life knocks us down and kicks sand in our faces. Resilience is how the psyche survives and copes, but resilience doesn’t necessarily wear a cape of positivity.
The 26 songs I’ve chosen show us, musically, what resilience looks (sounds?) like. I’ll offer a reflection of the resilience in each song. The songs are alphabetical by the artist’s first name or the group’s name, except for M, O, U, and X.
This is Me is a powerful song from the movie The Greatest Showman (2017). It is also resilience anthem number five (of seven) of the 26 songs I’m highlighting this month.
This is Me is a testament of self-acceptance and standing up for yourself despite your ‘uniqueness’ that has set you apart from society or even from feeling worthy of someone else’s love. The song is an epiphany of realizing just because someone (society) doesn’t approve of you or love you, it doesn’t mean you have to internalize their limitations.
The defiance in this song is tangible. It’s defiance against societal expectations to stay in the dark (out of sight, out of mind), because society doesn’t approve of or like who you are.
I am not a stranger to the dark
Hide away, they say
‘Cause we don’t want your broken parts
I’ve learned to be ashamed of all my scars
Run away, they say
No one’ll love you as you are
My gosh. These words are hard to hear.
This is the resilience message in this song: We can’t change what others think or say about us. We can’t change what others do to us or even prevent them from hurting us. Neither can we change who we are way down deep inside, but the one thing we can change is how we perceive ourselves in the world.
As the song continues, we realize something has changed in her. We must fill in the blanks for what caused her resilience to finally lift its chin, square its shoulders, stare-down judgmental society, and proclaim,
“I’m not going to accept your judgment of me. Say what you want. Your words can’t cut me anymore. When you try to hurt me, I’ll send a flood of confidence and self-love that will drown you out. I got battle scars on my emotions and psyche, but I’m stronger for it. I’m brave now. I’ve embraced who I am…as I am...and you can’t stop me from being me. I’m not scared of you any longer, and you can kiss my backside if you don’t like me.
“You created my strength and resilience through your oppression, criticism, judgement, and shunning. I’m tearing down your arbitrary barricades. I’m not content to remain in the dark any longer. I’m reaching for the sun (holding my head up and you can’t stop me).”
…bursting through the barricades and reaching for the sun
…warriors and that’s what we’ve become
…oh, we are glorious
…look out ’cause here I come
This song is self-empowerment personified in music. “This is me” is a mantra for the issues everyone and anyone has with me. I’ve realized I don’t need to own your problems with me. You figure out how to deal with your own issues. I know who I am now, and I’ve learned to love me.
This is me.
This. Is. Me.
*dandelion background image by RosZie, Pixabay
**Note: Eleanor Roosevelt is attributed with saying, “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” It appears she stated, rather succinctly, the essence of William Ellery Channing’s words.
Until next time,
writing through history one romance upon a time