There are so many women I see daily fighting the good fight, and there are ones I see who have forgotten how to suit up. I have experienced both ends of the spectrum — from being motivated into action to letting stress paralyze me.
I have been learning quite a bit lately about how to empower myself to be a more confident and productive woman. I hope that the following helps you find that spark you need to kickstart yourself back into motion again if you are struggling, or the encouragement you may have been needing to keep your pace up in your current endeavors.
Whatever reason you may need empowerment in your life, these musical meditations offer a great exercise in confidence and strength.
Take some time for yourself to listen to each song, think about what it means to you, and allow the music to reveal to you a new tactic for empowering yourself as a birth mother.
Musical Meditation #1: “You Say” by Lauren Daigle
You have probably heard this song on pop radio, but have you ever experienced the depth of the lyrics?
The artist is searching and seeking for hope in dealing with a loss so great that it made her question her identity. Can you relate? I know that when I choose adoption, I felt a great loss in my life. While I was relieved that I made the best choice for myself and my child when I chose adoption, I also had to grieve a life I would never have.
It was a sadness so great and a soul chasm so deep that it required a resolve just as powerful: faith.
For myself, I rely on my faith to pull me through my everyday life. I pause throughout the day to pray, I try to listen to my gut instincts when I make decisions, and I stop to think about my actions more frequently instead of acting impulsively. I also have leaned on my faith in times of darkness, using it as the only beacon of light I could see.
While Lauren Daigle is a Christian music artist, you don’t have to subscribe to her beliefs to appreciate her message of a hope in the faith that you rely on.
Musical Meditation #2: “Stars” by Skillet
This is without a doubt an epic love song. The artists are singing about how in love they are and how loved they feel in return. This song was featured in the movie, “The Shack,” a film based on a book about a man struggling with his Christian faith during a time of great turmoil in his life.
While you are listening to the music, pay attention to who comes to mind when you listen — really listen — to this one. What does this song make you think of? Or who does it make you think of?
If you think of a person, you may want to re-evaluate where you place your spiritual alignment. People are not perfect, which means if you have high expectations for them, it will eventually cause problems. Seeking a person to solve your problems is not an effective solution to most questions.
Placing my child for adoption felt like it left a hole in my heart for a while. For every step forward I took in healing, it seemed as if I took two steps back in grief. I looked outside of myself for some peace — just something or someone to have faith in. I sought relief from my emotions in personal relationships, hoping that another person could offer a solution. I have even been guilty of putting my son’s adoptive parents up on a pedestal, hoping that their love would somehow make everything better for me.
It turns out that I will never find spiritual peace in another person, no matter whether I am healing from adoption or working on my next walk in growth. I need a spiritual foundation rooted in a belief system I can really dig my fingers into. I need a God who can fill the spiritual gap, the soul hole left from choosing adoption, the emptiness that causes me to believe the lie that a person can save me.
It is wise to worship in a faith if spirituality is important to you. This also means that you may decide to stop relying on people and start relying on your Creator within your own personal belief or values system.
Musical Meditation #3: “Burn the House Down” by AJR
Don’t worry about reading into the lyrics with this song. This one is all about a beat that turns your head and makes you move around with the music.
After I chose adoption for my baby, I had a really hard time just enjoying my life again. Everything felt so serious all the time, and every day brought a wave of grief that I had to fight just to function. I thought that all my problems needed to be dissected one-by-one to be solved.
While it’s true that you have to solve your problems, that doesn’t mean they all have to be solved right this second or the whole world will come crashing down.
Sometimes you just need to “keep it light,” let go of your stress, and just let your body unwind. This is one of the beats I bop my head to in the car. It’s great for when I have the house to myself, as well. I blast this song and dance around my house like no one is watching.
It feels good to let loose occasionally and let the music take my worries away.
Musical Meditation #4: “Whatever It Takes” by Imagine Dragons
I have many moments in which I doubt myself, my gifts and talents, and even moments in which I fall into the awful fear that I will fail. One of the areas I find most challenging today is my work. I love all the projects that I work on, whether it’s writing about spiritual healing for adoption or doing business administration work. I am very talented and productive at what I do. However, that doesn’t mean I am always confident about my work or even just my time management skills, relationships, daily financial balance, and more.
Sometimes we need a little push to keep walking our path and face whatever obstacle is perceived to be in our way. There is nothing wrong with needing a little inspiration to start your day out, or even restart your day with. If you can relate to lacking motivation at times, then turn your music on and let it give you the nudge you need. It works for me, and if you allow it, the music can bring you back to productivity again, as well.
Choosing adoption was a very difficult task. I had much to lose and did. I had to say goodbye to people who disagreed with my decision. I was betrayed and abandoned by members of my family who didn’t want me to choose adoption. I felt empty and alone as I watched my entire life change over one choice: adoption.
However, there were so many moments I spent with my son and his prospective adoptive parents that gave me more hope to go on fighting for my child. The moments I spent getting to know and bonding with my child’s prospective adoptive parents helped me to envision a future for my son, and that kept me pushing forward in my adoption decision.
We all need a little inspiration to get motivated. This song makes me feel like I can reach my goals, no matter what obstacle I’m facing.
Musical Meditation #5: “The Phoenix” by Fall Out Boy
Remember in high school, when life was all about “fitting in” — but sticking out just enough in just the right way to be “popular?” I do. That was no fun.
As an adult, I have learned a lot more about who I am, including my quirks, my guilty pleasures, what I like, and what I don’t like. Just because I know who I am doesn’t necessarily mean that I am automatically going to embrace it. I have dealt with the fear of not fitting in even as an adult.
Becoming a birth mother helped me to understand that life is not a popularity contest. Birth mothers like me learn that not everyone will like the choices that we make but, if the decision is important and right, we must make it. Just like the decision for adoption, I had to learn that I shouldn’t to try and please everybody every day. As a mother, I have learned that giving out of self-sacrifice is more rewarding than trying to be something I’m not.
I am elated to report that today, I am who I am. You can like it or not. Your words can hurt my feelings, but they will not make me question my identity. This song reminds me that I am a strong woman who can handle anything she sets her mind to.
I do not fit your “mold.” I am okay with that today. Remember, you are who you are, and that is okay today, too.
Empowerment through music is something I hold very close to my heart, as music has pulled me through many tough times.
Of course, music is not the only coping tool in my spiritual toolbox. If you or someone you know is struggling with confidence, there is nothing wrong with seeking counseling services or additional help.
I have found that the best way to cope with hurt and pain is to just start somewhere. So, go on, enjoy these tunes, and reach out for help if you need it.
“We need women at all levels, including the top, to change the dynamic, reshape the conversation, to make sure women’s voices are heard and heeded, not overlooked and ignored.” — Sheryl Sandberg
Lindsay is a guest blogger for Considering Adoption. She placed her son for adoption seven years ago and hopes to use her experience to support and educate other expectant mothers considering adoption, as well as adoptive families.