My torturer is my remedy
To be honest, after hearing the news that the legendary artist Prince died and still being in shock about his sudden death, I had no desire to watch Beyonce’s ‘Lemonade’. I know, me saying that sounds strange to me as a bonafide Beyhive member. However, there’s something about loss that just makes us want to remove ourselves from things we enjoy. I actually thought that proceeding with the launch of Lemonade around this time was selfish of her. However, after downloading HBO Now on my phone, bracing myself for whatever lemonade means and watching this story unfold, I was convinced that it was both therapeutic and awakening; especially while so many of us are trying to figure out what’s going on in our society.
1. There is beauty in pain
As I watched the video, I absolutely loved the cinematography and captivating images that ran throughout. I wanted to share some of my personal favorites because they each tell a story all by themselves. I hope that you all keep journaling your stories and saving your pictures and realizing that your story is just as powerful as anyone else’s no matter how dark or painful. You matter.
2. We are all searching for answers
Why are people dying so young? What’s going on with our leaders? What’s happening to our society? Why are Black lives not as important as anyone else’s? Will we survive the retirement age in modern America? There is so much doubt and worry. I mean the weight of the world is heavy for everyone, not just Black people.
3. We are all lemonade makers
We all share a certain amount of unbearable pain in life. We have to deal with an unfortunate amount of loss. Sometimes the idea of pushing forward past our pain is just unfathomable. I’m sure many of you reading this can relate. Whether it’s the loss of a parent, child, scandal, personal defeat, health issues, financial issues or more we’ve all had to make lemonade out of lemons.
4. Life is beautiful
No matter how much you endure, you can’t say that it’s all a loss. Well actually you could say it, but it wouldn’t be true. There’s so much to be grateful for, so much beauty that God created for us to enjoy here on Earth. I hope that you take a moment today or sometime soon to think about just how blessed you truly are. Some people didn’t wake up this morning.
5. Purification is necessary
Purification of the mind, body and spirit should never be ignored. We should always take time for ourselves to let go and release things that are holding us back and not allowing us to grow. We need to constantly seek to cleanse our minds of negative thoughts about ourselves and others. We need to take care of our bodies because they are the vessel that is used to get us through life. We need to always seek what is good because that is what allows us to be the beings of love that we were created to be.
6. We are in a tug of war
Most people mistake the battle as a physical struggle with others, but the most powerful we face is the battle of the mind. Our thoughts are what keep us growing or keep us in bondage. Are you winning the war with yourself? If not, what must you do to win? The first step is to let go of fear, to speak positive to yourself and life into your dreams always.
7. We all have to wade in the water together as humans
No one comes into this journey of life alone. We would like to think that we are in the world all by ourselves and no one else’s battle is greater than our own, but that’s simply not true. We just have to be masters at handling the lives we’ve been chosen to lead. The truth is we get much further in life when we learn how to have interdependent relationships. When we collaborate and build together, we build farther.
8. No matter what we endure we must stand strong together
Unity is what our nation needs. As women we hold so much power within to create the culture that we desire. If we stand strong and embrace love, we will nurture loving and healthy relationships. Our role as the caregivers of society make our importance so necessary for this world to continue. Our humanity depends on our ability to love ourselves and give birth to beings who love themselves and others.
9. Sometimes life won’t add up
You will always have obstacles that you face in life that just won’t make sense. Things will happen to you and you will question the very existence of God and humanity. You are not alone is your quest to figure out wtf is happening. You will try your best and just seem like you are hitting a brick wall. Adversity makes champions. Keep fighting. Keep pushing. Gravity will never submit to you, but make it known that you are there and your presence must be respected
10. Only hold on to those who choose to hold on to you
When you love someone you cherish their ability to make a decision to choose to love you back. Reciprocity in this game of love is not guaranteed so love wisely. Love from the heart. Trust and believe that there is always a reason for those that you love, but only hold on to those who love you back.
11. Our sons should be able to come home to us safely
12. Our men should be able to breathe
13. The American Dream should be for everyone
14. Black babies are beautiful
15. We need to cherish our lives and the Earth
There is something that happens that is so beautiful when we appreciate our oneness with the Earth. We should hug more trees, talk to them and listen to their stories. Go sit down at a tree with loved ones or alone and just enjoy the beauty of it all. Loving the Earth is therapeutic for the soul.
16. Everything in life must have balance
No one should ever be rooting harder for you than you root for yourself. Cherish your dreams and seek them. Don’t allow anyone to dim your light and don’t allow your pursuit of greatness to diminish someone else’s dreams. Be the mentor you wish you had and learn when to be led. Embrace every role you have and those who have roles above and below you. We are all created in the same light and we will all return to our maker. Bring harmony to those that come to you for guidance.
17. You are beautiful in every complex way. Own it
Don’t dim your light to make others feel comfortable. Make your light illuminate so that it can shine on others and help them see their greatness. Don’t play too long in the dark because your eyes will become trained to see only darkness. Stay near all that is good, loving and kind. Let God guide you on the journey that is made especially for you. He made you to be great, so be it!
18. Clapback in silence with action not words
Don’t always feel like you have to immediately address your haters, accusers or attackers. Work on you and let them see on their own that you are as great as you think you are. Ignore the noise, but record the sound. Always keep receipts. Always cover your butt and know that there is someone planning to come for everything you’ve worked so hard for so protect it. Protect your legacy.
19. There’s nothing like a man who walks in his purpose as a father
No matter how you might feel as a woman, your mood, your feelings of being disregarded, ignored or taken for granted, always embrace the man who loves your child(ren). Embrace simply means show love and respect for the fact that he chooses to walk in his role of responsibility as a father, despite that it’s an option to many. When he shows love to that child, he’s showing love to an external part of you.
20. Embrace everything that God has blessed you with
Everyone may not like what you do, how you look, what you wear, who you love, but you weren’t made to please everyone. Cherish those that are in your life. Embrace love and give it freely. Know that every good and firm seed that is planted will come back to you. Your spouses and children are your seeds, you have to water them and help them grow. Let others water you and help you grow. Don’t take anything for granted, but accept everything that is good as a gift.
There was an overwhelming amount of pain in Beyonce’s latest release ‘Lemonade’ but there were some things we couldn’t ignore. She pays tribute to her father despite all the things we’ve seen play out in the media that he’s done that has hurt her family, she loves the new union of her mother Tina and stepfather Richard Lawson, she loves her husband Jay-Z (Sean Carter), despite any issues that they’ve had in their over 15+ year relationship and she values unity among women.
The visual album ‘Lemonade’ is full of symbolism and imagery that I’m sure other analytical writers and poets will be breaking down for a long time to come. I wanted to give you a glimpse of some of the motifs and themes that intrigued me the most. I also love to use art as a form of healing for people.
I hope that this review of Beyonce’s new work allowed you to be able to take something away that you can use to empower you to move beyond whatever challenges you face and keep making lemonade.
Click here to see who I think is ‘Becky with the good hair’.