Instead of a poem, this week I wanted to share a music video for the song, "Rise Above" from my album The Only Way out Is Through.
The video begins with a young girl narrating a few lines of poetry:
They flew at me like daggers, each one piercing a little deeper into my heart. Whoever said, "Words will never hurt me" was wrong.
The song itself is about the journey to reclaim and accept oneself in the face of messages that might make us feel small, less than, flawed, or not valued. I often imagine what it would feel like to live in a society where encouragement, hope, acceptance, and collaboration were the dominant themes. That vision was my inspiration for this video. Woven throughout the footage of me singing are these people holding signs that offer messages like these:
I accept you. I admire you. I believe in you. I am here for you. I see you. Your voice matters to me. You are important to me. You are loved. You are strong. You are brave. You are safe. You are limitless. Anything is possible. Dust off those wings and fly. You are worthy of happiness. You are worthy of love. U R perfect just the way you are. I love you.
Maybe there's a message in here that you needed to hear today? And maybe there's someone in your life who needs to be reminded that they are loved, cared for, and supported. What would it take for you to be the person to share that encouragement with them? You can watch the video here and find the song on Spotify, Apple Music, and all other streaming platforms if you'd like to add it to one of your playlists. With love, Jennifer ps - I offer thanks and credit to Justin Jagoda, who co-wrote and produced the song with me, and to Peter Dranga, who directed and produced the video. The three of us, along with Peter's film crew, spent a day on Southern California beach asking people (strangers to us) to hold the signs we had made. As we talked to the people who volunteered and shared the vision behind the video and the song, they shared with us their own stories of overcoming fear, illness, injury, and trauma. Their stories were ones of hope and joy and love and support, ones of turning pain into purpose. I am in deep gratitude to each of these humans who offered their presence to this project.