All of Me #rant

In the subtitle of this blog, I promised you rants. And you, my fine folk, are going to have your hand shaking, brain melting, venting, fire breathing RANTS.
Can you tell I’m a bit off my rocker? That road block from earlier is drilling deep. They’re grinding the pavement up there, smashing windows, and wrecking balls and all that. And explosives. Yes.
The source of this rant comes from the music video for the John Legend song, “All of Me.” You know, that one they play every 30 minutes on the modern hits station, the one you’re probably trying to learn to play on the piano, the one that every guy was singing to his girlfriend on Valentine’s Day.
I personally love the song.
The music video, on the other hand, made me sick. Say all you want about it having a million likes and over 158 million views. In my eyes, it’s a load of CRAP.
Here’s why:
This was one of my boyfriend and I’s many special songs throughout most of our relationship. I remember one time we were sitting in his car, and were upset about something…something wasn’t going through, wasn’t clicking, and we were both down, and then that song came on the radio. Just like that, snap, we realized that our problems were nothing in comparison to our love and commitment to each other. He smiled, and so did I. It was beautiful.
Another time, when we were on the verge of losing it, losing everything, losing our minds and our tears and our hopes and our dreams…he sang me this song. We were at a park, on a hill in between a baseball field and a graveyard, sitting underneath a tree. I was crying, and he held me and sang the chorus to this song, “All of me loves all of you, all your curves and all your edges, all your perfect imperfections…” He sang this to me when we didn’t even think things would work out! And they didn’t! But he sang for me anyway…He had promised me that one day he would do it, because there were rumors that he sounded like Johnny Cash or whatnot. And he did. Beautiful, soothing voice.
THAT’s what this song means to me. It means crying, and breaking apart while sitting in a dark room late at night wondering if you’ll make it to morning, it means holding on to memories even though the sight of a single car can make you start trembling, but holding onto those memories anyway because it’s unthinkable to forget! It means loving deeply and fully, and doing it through tears and happiness…accepting a person for all they are, and striving to help them be the best they can be…sitting on a gas station curb on lonely nights and never wanting to let go…calling someone on the phone even though you don’t understand why they’re upset. Not pushing limits, Giving and not just taking, being open. Risking something of yours, something precious to you, for someone else.
I mean seriously.
“Cards on the table, we’re both showing hearts. Risking it all though it’s hard!”
RISKING. RISKING!!!!! It’s hard!! HARDDDDD!!!!! Love is hard!!! Any kind of love–romantic or family or friendships. And it hurts worse than any other disappointment when it doesn’t work out. It hurts to give all of yourself even when it breaks you.
That’s the beauty of this song…it shows that.
Then the music video completely ruins it.
Because what do we have here? Two gorgeous people parading around an island resort, skimpily dressed. Cuddling in rivers and pools and showers and snuggling and laughing and talking and eating delicious looking food and going on boat rides and playing the piano and just staring at each other.
No tears. No pain. No hard nights. No sacrifice. No hug when the world is falling down.
It’s dramatic, it’s sensual, it’s enticing, it’s ritzy and glamorous.
Hollywood, maybe.
But not love.
At island resorts when the sun is shining down on you is not when you give all of yourself. Giving all of yourself doesn’t mean having sex…or as the video puts it, having sex everywhere, at any time, as many times as can be captured in a five minute clip.
You give all of yourself when you hurt because someone else hurts. Be it your mom or grandpa or son or cousin or best friend or acquaintance or spouse or bf/gf.
You give all of yourself when you sacrifice.
You give all of yourself, moms and dads, when you stay up all night to feed and comfort a screaming child, when you fight for them, when you have to make the hard choices just to make sure they don’t drown themselves in sin.
You give all of yourself when you want someone to be happy and content, even if it’s not with you.
You give all of yourself when you are there for someone not just on the sun-tanned beach days, but when they tell you that they tried to kill themself last week because life equals agony.
You give all of yourself when you do the right thing, for the right reason, even when it feels like every emotion you have is gasping, begging for release. For a breath of air, for freedom, for healing.
You give all of yourself when you understand that even when you lose, you’re winning. Because that other person is worth THAT MUCH to you.
This song has a special place in my heart, and I assume that’s why it made me so freaked out and angry to see it portrayed like a perfume commercial. I want to give all of myself to the people I love–my parents, my friends. I know several people who have given everything for me. All of them.
Why would I waste my life, and my time, and my heart by thinking that love is a vacation on the seashore when it is actually a fight to the death? As glorious as the first sounds, it turns out to be very cheap, very fast (or possibly very expensive, depending on what resort you stay at 😉 ) The latter hurts like nothing else, but the victory is worth ten times the sacrifice.
Ask yourself what “all of me” really means. What’s at the heart of it? What’s at the heart of love?
Rant over.


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