I think we can all agree that what has happened to POP star Kesha was a horrible, horrible thing that no human should ever have to go through. In case you are unfamiliar with the situation, we have recently found out that she has been fighting a lawsuit against her producer for drug use, rape, and emotional abuse.
To be honest, I haven’t always been the biggest fan of her music, but not long ago she released one song in particular that really stood out to me. “Praying” is one that anyone who has endured any sort of abusive relationship can relate to, and I truly appreciate this work for several reasons.
In the beginning verse, she sings about what it was like to be in the midst of an abusive relationship. Those of us who have been involved in such relationships know what it’s like to feel like we are nothing without that other person, that we are trapped. Even when we finally get out of those awful situations, we feel as though we are inadequate, forever broken, and completely unlovable. We know what it’s like to wonder what our purpose is if all we ever feel is pain. Worst of all, we believe that the treatment we have received is what we really deserve. Kesha well portrays these feelings in her lyrics.
That being said, the reason I love this song so much is that it has a sense of forgiveness about it. The chorus says “I hope you’re somewhere praying. I hope your soul is changing.” I love this because, yes, I hope that my abuser is changing and becoming better. I hope that he doesn’t continue to hurt others the way my family and I were hurt. I don’t want anyone to feel the way I did through all of that, not even the one who caused it. I understand that only someone who is truly hurting themselves would inflict that upon someone else. I want him to find peace, and I want him to be free.
However, that does not mean that it is my responsibility to help him find that peace and healing. I have been told how I need to forgive him, and he didn’t want to hurt me, he really loves me, etc. But forgiveness does not mean that you have to go through your healing processes together. Kesha does not ignore the fact that she was truly damaged in the process; neither should anyone else. The dark times that we have seen and gone through don’t go away because we choose forgiveness. We still feel those hurts and burdens; we still feel repercussions every day. It is ok to say that we are hurt, and we are angry towards the people who have damaged us. We can show forgiveness and hope they find a new path of love, while still removing ourselves from further being harmed.
Finally, Kesha tells her story of how this has made her better and how she chose to be stronger because of it. I think that a huge part of the healing process is to celebrate your victory in the situation. Celebrate the fact that you made it and are on your way to a better life. Personally, I celebrate that it strengthened my faith, and gave me a more pure perspective of God. These situations can make us better if we choose to let them. Take your healing process at your own pace, but don’t dwell on the pain. There is freedom in the fact that you have a choice in how you react to the situation. Remember that whoever has abused you, whether it was or is a significant other, parent, friend, or anyone else, that they themselves are enduring deep pain as well. It is ok to love them from afar, you do not need to be a part of their healing, you need to have your own.
I hope that you all, both the abusers and the abused find freedom and peace. I hope you see that beauty can and will come of all this. Give it time, and have faith. Know that you’re not alone.