I hope I don't have to give the disclaimer that I know Eminem isn't the best role model. Of course I don't condone everything he says or does, but I do think that he learned something about himself that I wish I had known sooner. Maybe you can learn something from it too.
The song I'm talking about is The Monster, featuring guest vocals from Rihanna. I'll embed the clean audio below.
In case you don't want to listen (which there's no judgment if you don't), here's a transcript of the chorus I'm talking about;
I'm friends with the monster that's under my bed.
Get along with the voices inside of my head.
Trying to save me, stop holding your breath.
And you think I'm crazy? Well, that's not fair.
I think I'm learning lately just how easy it is to dislike yourself. In some cases, just how easy it is to really hate yourself. Even after my Saturday morning inspiration last week, it seems that all the world's problems are not fixed. Not everyone yet believes they're awesome.
That's because, when we're alone, or maybe even when we feel alone in a huge crowd of people, we know that inside of us, there's something that's not always good. There's that urge to say or do something stupid or mean or petty or angry or anything else that we don't want to be.
And so we tell ourselves that we're not good. We know, we just know, that other people don't have these same things. I'm the only one who has to deal with this bad side, so I just have to put on a good face and grin and bear it and continue hiding this darkness I feel.
The funny thing about hiding darkness, though, is that the best way to cover it is with light. I'm stretching the analogy a bit, sure, but darkness hiding darkness only causes more darkness.
What would happen if we would bring it to the light?
If you look back at Eminem's life and career, I think "bringing his darkness to light" is a pretty apt summary. A lot of his songs are dark, some of them terribly so. He has a messy personal history with guns, drugs, and his ex-wife. He's been loved, hated, vilified and celebrated.
And he talks about it all.
He doesn't ignore the monster under his bed. He doesn't shut up the voices inside of his head. I'd bet he knows by now that won't help. Instead, he faces them. Deals with them. In this case, befriends them.
I get that there are parts of you that you don't like. There are parts of me that feel unlovable too. But hating them doesn't make them go away.
It's going to be hard, but some day, and it might as well be today, you'll have to face those things in you that you'd rather hide. And when you do, remember that the rest of us are always staring down at ours too.
And then, once we can look ourselves in the eye and realize that just because we have bad doesn't mean that we are bad, then maybe we can get back to that Saturday inspiration post.
Because despite what you might have to face in yourself, you are awesome.