I had a full day. I started to add the word working. However, what I was really doing was keeping lines of communication open with many different people, and doing what needed doing, all from a place of peace and calm and joy. It was a long day that left me tired but feeling good about helping people.
In the midst of this swirl of activity, I saw a post by Glennon Doyle Melton about singer Alicia Keys. Tonight I gratefully sank into my recliner with a cup of hot herbal tea and read Glennon’s heartfelt words about this talented young woman. Curious to know more, I popped in earbuds and listened to several songs from Alicia’s new album, Here, which released today.
I was especially captivated by the song Holy War, and listened to it several times. The message of the song is that we can hate each other and fear each other and build walls between us. Or we can take a chance and love each other instead, and care a little more.
The final lines are:
So maybe we should love somebody
Maybe we could care a little more
So maybe we should love somebody
Instead of polishing the bombs of holy war.
What if love was holy and hate obscene
We should give life to this beautiful dream
Cause peace and love ain’t so far
If we nurse our wounds before they scar
Nurse our wounds before they scar.
This song is beautiful. You can listen to it HERE.
As I listened to Alicia sing, I remembered something else about her. She recently made a personal decision to stop wearing makeup, shocking some and strangely enough, upsetting and angering others. Following the path curiosity had led me down, I researched why this very public person made such an interesting decision.
What I discovered struck a chord and my appreciation for Alicia soared.
In a recent interview Alicia shared:
“Women are brainwashed into feeling like we have to be skinny, or sexy, or desirable, or perfect. One of the many things I was tired of was the constant judgment of women. The constant stereotyping through every medium that makes us feel like being a normal size is not normal, and heaven forbid if you’re plus-size. Or the constant message that being sexy means being naked.”
Every time I left the house, I would be worried if I didn’t put on makeup: What if someone wanted a picture?? What if they POSTED it??? These were the insecure, superficial, but honest thoughts I was thinking. And all of it, one way or another, was based too much on what other people thought of me.
It’s great to not wear makeup, but it’s great to wear makeup too, if it makes you happy. If you like how you look with a full face, contour and some serious lashes, you do that, and SLAY. But if you like yourself bare-faced, go forth and slay like that too. You do you.
Alicia finished by saying, “I don’t want to cover up anymore. Not my face, not my mind, not my soul, not my thoughts, not my dreams, not my struggles, not my emotional growth. Nothing.”
Wow. I LOVE that. No more covering up for her. No more hiding behind a look that other people expect her to have. How authentic. How utterly real. Alicia doesn’t say women shouldn’t wear makeup. She says you do you. You be you. I’ll be me. While she is being Alicia. What a freedom inducing, empowering way to live.
I appreciate Alicia’s gifts to the world…her music and her authentic life. Both help us to search inward and then live outwardly, finding and filling up with beauty. She is beauty full.
And I’m grateful that Glennon shared a post about Alicia. Two days in a row, I’ve been guided to an amazing woman with something important to offer, by way of women I follow and trust. This is how we help each other. This is how we love and care and grow. This is what flows from a life that has filled up with beauty.