It’s a new year and you know what that means. The resolutions. The promises. The inevitable disappointment. Leaves be turning so much I start looking out for Aang. But new beginnings are all the rage at this time of year and if you haven’t actually started to make those resolutions, or if you’re like me and you aren’t really into resolutions as much as you’re into continuous improvement, I got you.
A great place to start making resolutions is concerning relationships. When I say relationships they’re not necessarily only romantic ones. Platonic, familial and even work relationships are as equally important as romantic ones if not more important to your holistic well being. But I am going to offer solutions with a twist. Music makes everything better so here are 5 songs that double as great resolutions (AKA Songs that say “what we not finna do”)
1. The Boy Is Mine: Brandy Norwood and Monica
This turn of the century banger spelled the story of a love triangle gone completely wrong. I mean what good can come out of two women finding out that they’re messing with the same guy? The girls duked it out verbally, throwing snarky jabs and boastful claims left and right all while completely forgetting that this dude was playing them like harps. He more than likely didn’t even want either of them. They were so blinded trying holding on to each of their one-sided affairs that they couldn’t identify the real enemy – the toxic manipulator “Boy”.
This year, it’s a NO to holding on to people who are lukewarm about us. It’s either they step up or step aside. That doesn’t mean that the love ends but love them from a distance and care from afar. We deserve healthy relationships that build us up and add value to our lives. Nothing less. Demand it.
2. Bust Your Windows – Jazmine Sullivan.
Remember when every girl was screaming this at the top of her lungs back around ’08 or ’09 and had male car lovers quaking and insurance agents buzzing? Its soulful crooner lured us into her story, a spell cast by her melodious voice and by the end of the first chorus, you were vehemently on her side. This was the beginning of “Pissed Off Hurt Bae” music and it is easily one for the throwbacks if this generation is allowed to have it.
But Jazmine sings in the song something very prolific that people tend to miss:
You broke my heart
So I broke your car
You caused me pain
So I did the same
Even though what you did to me was much worse
I had to do something to make you hurt
Oh but why am I still crying?
She correctly identifies that in “hurting” her lover who jilts her, she only further hurts herself and continues the sordid cycle when she carries that unresolved hurt into yet ANOTHER relationship. We’re saying no to “Getting Back At People”. To treating people as they treat us. As tough as it sounds, let it go and let God (and Karma) do what He needs to. Not just because it’s the right thing to do but to preserve your mental health. It’s NOT GOING TO BE EASY. Far from it. But Practice makes perfect in all things and starting today makes it infinitely easier.
3. The Weekend – SZA
I don’t know if I spelled the name of the song right or not but to be honest, her name requires a lot of concentration as it is. Anyways….
This song topic is my least favourite. I see nothing commendable about trying to break up a relationship and I certainly see nothing to boast about when it comes to disrespecting the relationship agreement between two people. There is the argument that we’re single until we’re married and that no party is accountable to any other until those rings go on and that is an argument that may vindicate SZA.
However, I have to call BS on that and I call strong BS on it too. Do I agree that you’re single until you’re married? Of course. Do I think that that gives license to go about with whomever you please and then if it suits you, you can crawl back? Um, I think the hell not! Do I expect you to pay my bills, stay home when I ask, stop talking to whoever it is you talk to because I feel threatened among other spousal duties? Of course not. But do I think that you at least owe it to me out of respect to let me know that I’m not the only one that you desire so that I can focus on someone who is actually serious? Of course, I do! It’s common courtesy. It has nothing to do with gender or societal rules. Love transcends that. I know I went off on a relationship tangent but my main point is there are people who are willing to capitalise on the lack of care given to relationships and these are the people to identify early on and avoid like the plague. They only thrive when you allow a relationship to grow weak through contention and strife.
We’re saying NO to relationship breakers and those who thrive on ruining relationships for whatever reason.
4. And I’m Telling You – Jennifer Hudson (Dreamgirls)
Don’t sing. Just…..don’t. ?
This iconic scene in the Dreamgirls movie where Jennifer’s character finally sees that she can’t win via natural means and must resort to…well, the last resort is one of the high points of the movie. Who knew that grovelling could actually come across as powerful and moving?
However, it doesn’t change the fact that she had to reduce herself to essentially nothing for a relationship that was long over before she was properly clued in. And that, people, is ALWAYS a no-no. Never mistake grovelling for fighting for love. Ever. They are not mutually exclusive. Fighting for love does involve asking them not to leave please, please, pretty please but it has more to do with you showing them how much you are willing to change for them (as far as it is a positive change) even if they decide to leave at that moment. And it is also understanding that it is ultimately their choice. Grovelling is begging and begging and begging and stalking and begging and willing to bend to their sordid will just so that you won’t ever have to be alone.
Never grovel. Ever. Ask them to stay. Invite them to stay and discuss the possibility of another chance. We’re saying no to wildly throwing pride aside for people who don’t deserve it.
5. As We Lay – Shirley Murdoch/Kelly Price.
Children. Secret relationships….
Let’s just get to the “say No”, okay? ?
Let us make a conscious decision to not continue to delude ourselves about people’s images. It will only make us do very horrible things to please and keep them. Trust me when I say that it will eventually happen. If they are a bottom feeding, low, conniving scum of the earth, no daydream with flowers created by you will change that.
See the person for who they are even if it isn’t in the best light. That has nothing to do with you. No one’s behaviour is ever dependent on you. See them as they are and accept it for what it is. That’s your only job. Anything less will set you up and have you waking up next to people that aren’t yours.
Decide to be happy. Decide to be healthy. Say no.