Every once in a while the universe conspires to match a song to the to the steps that you’re walking.
This morning I woke up on the right side of the bed. Sun was streaming through my paper-thin windows and I was surprisingly not too tired despite staying at the library until wee hours the night before. A friend sent me this beautiful, empowering song by Laura Mvula called “She,” and it was one of those songs that I wasn’t prepared for. I stopped the song halfway through because I didn’t want my first time listening to it to be over quite yet. That’s how good this song is.
I was bopping about my day when I heard that my sister was having a particularly rough day after being on the receiving end of the evergreen pettiness of high school girls. I’ve been restless and alarmed at my anger because I’m generally an even-keeled person. From a young age I have always been sensitive to lunch room exclusion, playground injustices, and birthday party drama. It’s one of those pit-in-the-stomach things that can make me go from docile Lauren to impassioned St. Joan of Arc-going-off-to-battle Lauren. Today I was mad that my sister was hurting, mad that people suffer bullying all the time, mad that kids act upon jealousy and insecurity when it is so much more fruitful to just NOT, mad that I’m spending energy processing why people use hatred as a means of communication instead of studying for finals, and mad that something is making me mad.
In her song, Laura Mvula sings, “She don’t stop” over and over again in an “I’m fearfully and wonderfully made” sort of way that makes you own the steps you’re taking. (So if you listen to it enough times in one sitting you’ll start to confuse yourself with Beyoncé.) It’s the sort of empowering anthem that anyone down in the dumps needs to hear. A message that dissolves the petty hatred potential of high school.
This blog post should not exist because bullying should not exist. It’s easy for me to see the absurdity, the unnecessary ridiculousness of it all. I’m sitting here on my sunny campus, 21 years old, three years removed from high school. I’m surrounded by an army of beautiful, strong friends who love and uphold each other. Friends who realize that acting with compassion and love bears fruit while acting upon jealousy and fear can poison everything in its path. We get it. We’re on the other side of the fence. But for the younger kids, middle school and high school can feel liked a never-ending tunnel of doom.
I could write an entire dissertation on the matter, but I’ll save you the trouble since most of this stuff should be common sense.
There’s this verse in the Bible that my mom introduced to me when I was younger and learning that I’m not the one who’s steering this ship. It holds a lot of weight and I somehow always come back to it:
“He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end. I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live.”
I may not have it all figured out, but I can say that this kind of stuff fades. You have so much to look forward to.
Don’t stop. #swerve
(And should a mean schoolyard bully be reading this, give back the lunch money and knock it off for the love of God, you fool!!!!)