All the feels were felt on Saturday night when I watched Beyonce’s Lemonade premiere on HBO.
There are so many layers to this visual album, I could’ve written a dissertation on it… from its genre transcending sound, to its championing of Black Feminism, to its representation of the Black Lives Matter movement, to its odes to Yoruba traditions, to its feature of Warsan Shire’s word artistry, to its honest addressing of infidelity, and much more… I wouldn’t know where to start.
But what I’m most inspired to share is my spiritual interpretation of the emotional stages presented in this piece of art by Beyonce.
On the album we go on a journey through the (apparent) relationship of Bey and Jay, but really, so (so) many relationships. It starts with intuition…
Featuring “Pray You Catch Me”
The power of communication lies in vulnerability.
This whole album is Beyonce's personal demonstration of the power of vulnerability, starting from this track through the last. Through her art she has communicated a perspective that has reached many hearts. In this opening song we hear one of the underlying themes of the album that demonstrates the Divine Feminine's desire to heal the Wounded Masculine through communication. True communication requires vulnerability so that the other person can share in your perspective. When this vulnerability isn't being offered to your love, it starts to suck the life out of the relationship. Not knowing what's going on in your partner's inner world makes you feel uneasy and shut out and they feel the same when you shut down. We feel the desire she has to connect to someone that is physically close but mentally somewhere far away.
Featuring “Hold Up”
Relationships are "hospitals for the soul."
Channeling the spirit of Oshun, Beyonce brings a gush of water and destroys anything in her path, with some amused onlookers cheering her on. She is frustrated with feeling the worst pain from the one who is supposed to love her the most. Relationships being the hospitals of the soul is an idea Marianne Williamson first introduced me to about why we treat the ones we love the most, the worst. It is because we've forgotten the purpose of the relationship. Relationships are the mechanism in which we reach our Highest Potential. They are made to be the place where all our shit comes out. Our triggers that were created in our childhood are supposed to be provoked by our soulmates so that we can be aware of them and purify ourselves of them. But since most of us aren't enlightened yet, we start to see our trigger-provoker as the enemy instead of our greatest teacher. Although this does not justify cheating, it does point to why so many relationships face this betrayal. If we are looking to our partners to fill a void and all that partner is doing is making you more aware of that void, you may start seeing it as a failing relationship rather than recognizing that it's doing exactly what it's supposed to for the benefit of all.
Featuring “Don’t Hurt Yourself”
Nothing ever leaves its source.
My ego loved this badass line but at the same time my higher self recognized that there was a deeper spiritual interpretation at play here. A Course in Miracles (ACIM) states that that any energy that we put "out there" stays with us, the creator of the energy. We feel the energy longer and stronger than whoever we intended it for. So even though we may feel justified in our desire to hurt others the way we’ve been hurt by them, this would be perpetuating the cycle of hurt. The remedy? Self love. Once you stop looking at your partner as the person that's supposed to love you hard enough to make you love yourself, you make room for recognizing that you are Love because our creator is Love. As the Universe would so perfectly coordinate it, when Beyonce sangs "when you love me, you love God herself", it divinely demonstrates our intimate relationship with our Source. Just like the energy we create doesn't leave us, we, as creations of Love, don't leave our Source either. Once this sinks in deep enough, self love is a given.
Family and friends are angels.
As Beyonce's signature "girl power anthem" of the album played, my heart still racing from the shock of how personal the album was so far (and continued to be), I was reminded that having family and friends that have your back no matter what is sometimes the closest thing to unconditional love that we will get to experience - and how lucky if we do get to experience that kind of love. When we are heartbroken we need to lean on our family and friends to lessen the energetic burden. They remind you that you are powerful and amazing, with or without him or her. To see yourself through their loving eyes is a very healing part of the journey. And what they will remind you is that part of that healing sometimes requires that we step away from the relationship (boy bye) in order to gain clarity to decide if you want to keep it that way... or not (boy hi). Additionally the visuals to this song show a bus ride that can be seen as a symbol for the transformation we go through after life's heartbreak, along with the angels assist us in getting there.
Featuring “6 Inch”
You have free will but you are here to reach Enlightenment.
This bump-in-the-club track's stand-out line came in the last two words… “come back.” Don't get me wrong, Weeknd + Yonce make some of the best ear candy but what stood out to me the most was that regardless of the grind she loves and all the money that goes along with it, in the end she remains energetically tied to her husband because the lesson remains unrecognized. Because we have free will have the freedom to make any choice but our life lessons will remain in the background and will not go away until we acknowledge them and give them our time and attention. When distractions run out we're pulled back to "do the work" because there is something yet to be healed. And if you don't learn and heal with this partner, you will see the same patterns in the next where we get another opportunity to reach Enlightenment.
Featuring “Daddy Lessons”
Heal the root to save the branch.
In a bittersweet track, Beyonce sings about all her dad did in order to toughen her up while growing up but also highlights his inability to save her from men like himself. He warned her not through his words, but most likely through his actions. We are drawn to the conclusion that she married a man with the same shortcomings as her father. Once she sees this connection she becomes empowered to save her marriage by getting to the root of the problem. Recognizing the aspects of our childhood that we need to heal is the most efficient way to grow. Instead of focusing on the symptoms of the problem, we go directly to the root that's causing all the pain. As discussed in Denial, our childhood will most like resurface with any relationship issues because that's where they're supposed to be safe to come up. Don't judge them, just love them. (Talk to them with the same love Blue talks to B at the end :) )
Featuring “Love Drought”
"Remove the blocks to the awareness of Love’s presence." - ACIM
The storm has passed, Bey has been baptized and is seeing her world through new eyes. Compassion enters the picture after she sees her wounds and subsequently his wounds. They are in tune with the purpose of the relationship and recognize that they have the power to lift the blocks and stop the drought. The blocks they had to love have washed away with her tears (and Oshun's powerful waters). As they come back together after this healing the relationship is more powerful. They can move mountains with their love now that it's not diluted with fear. We often get caught up in seeking love outside of ourselves, basing this search on the false illusion that we must find love. The Reality is that Love is always there and if we dont feel it it's because we're failing to tune into it.
Featuring “Sand Castles”
When life give you lemons, forgiveness is the lemonade.
I think this is the most important lesson of the album. It almost feels like the internet stopped listening to the album early and missed this entire part. This song circles back to the theme of the Divine Feminine healing through witnessing and loving the wounds of her love. The Divine Feminine is able to perform alchemy on pain through forgiveness. What does forgiveness look like? Is it an instant sweep of love that helps you forget the past? Is it a green light to being walked all over again? For anyone that has ever forgiven or tried to forgive, we know that it does not happen overnight but that it’s a moment to moment practice. Recommitting to forgiveness is the essence of forgiveness and it’s the only path to eventually experiencing that sweep of love where the pain turns to joy.
For a better future, live in the present.
This short but sweet James Blake-assisted track says it all in the first word: Forward. Rehashing any transgressions over and over (and over) again keeps you from moving forward. Forgiveness can only happen in the present moment when we’re not reviving our hurts. It may seem like we need to keep reviving so that it won't happen again but we overlook the fact that reviving the pain keeps us in it. Going forward requires approaching a relationship in a different way from the way its been approached.
We are infinite.
Queen B and King Kendrick bring us the hope of liberation both from global and personal chains in this powerful track. The tone? Imma keep fighting for myself, my marriage and the Black community. There's a lot to be said for perseverance while living on this planet. Things don't always feel fair here. The trick is to witness the pain or injustice through the eyes of our infinite nature. This guarantees that we'll be operating from a higher love-based perspective where new possibilities show up that we couldn't imagine from a lower, fear-based perspective.
Featuring “All Night”
Only Love is Real. Nothing Real can be threatened.
Bey's love for Jay is healing. She has seen him at his worst and her love has become their unshakable foundation. This love runs deep because this love is the same love we receive from God herself. ACIM says that knowing WHO you are is your power. WHO you are means knowing your Source. When you are operating from the knowingness that we are connected to Pure Love we embody it and bring it into our relationships. Miracles can't help but happen when we're in that space. There is no room for fear and from this perspective only does our love become unconditional. And what we give is what we experience.
Lemonade goes beyond the cheater - victim dichotomy to demonstrate the subtleties, nuances, rollercoaster of emotions and, ultimately, beauty of relationships.
I've been drinking my daily lemon water for it's healing benefits. This album feels just as healing for many of us who have feared or experienced a form of betrayal. Through her vulnerability we have witnessed Beyonce perform alchemy on her pain, knowing we can do the same.
Drink the lemonade, it's good for you.
P.S. We’re missing the entire point when we harass Rachel Roy, btw.