If you haven't discovered Lennon Stella's music yet, you are seriously missing out. She and her sister, Maisy, began their entertainment career on the tv show, Nashville. After the show's finale, Lennon began her solo career in music and recently released her first EP: Love, Me.
One of my absolute favorite songs from Love, Me is Fortress. Not only is it super catchy but the lyrics resonate with me deeply. Fortress describes the aftermath of leaving a toxic relationship. She builds a "fortress" around herself to ward off the negativity surrounding this relationship. There are three lyrics in particular that I find extremely creative and powerful. They stuck out among the plotline of the song and painted a picture of the personal story Lennon is telling.
"I let you keep taking me up in the madness"
It can be easy to let other people wrap you up in their personal issues and project internal conflict onto you or your relationship. This doesn't just apply to romantic relationships but also friendships and sometimes even acquaintances. We are all human and sometimes we let our negative emotions affect the way we treat other people for no reason other than we are feeling down or mad. While I wish it was easy to stop this pattern of behavior, it is much harder than you might think. We use others as verbal punching bags, we vent, we get irritated easily, and we take all our negativity out on others. It is easier than dealing with it ourselves. But it is important to at least try to think before you burst at the seams with frustration, that the person you are about to unload your stress on has a million things they are going through themselves and don't deserve to have more things add to their plate unnecessarily.
"You don't get in my brain, you don't fill up the spaces"
Cutting toxic people out of your life is okay. Another thing about being human is that we always want to please others. Most people don't like confrontation and want others to feel at ease in their company. But I am here to tell you that if you feel like you are giving 100% to a relationship and receiving nothing back in return, it is okay to let that friendship go. Your mental health and well-being is more important than pleasing that one person. One of my favorite quotes I have heard about friendship is "some people are in your life for a reason, a season, or a lifetime."
"I'm not letting you in, now that I built a fortress"
Another important aspect of friendships that people forget about is that it is okay to keep your guard up. You don't have to be vulnerable with everyone and you don't have to share your life story with every friend you make. The wonderful thing about friends is that we get to choose who we surround ourselves with. It is natural to feel drawn more to some people than others and it may be those people we feel drawn to who we choose to open up to.
I have always been one of those people who wears my heart on my sleeve. I am for the most part an open book. To some extent, this is a good thing because it has allowed me to make some extremely close friends. They have opened up to me because I was open with them. However, my emotional honesty has come at a cost in friendships where that openness has backfired. Instead of building a close friendship, it has left me vulnerable in times of conflict.
If you haven't listened to Fortress yet, I couldn't recommend it enough. The lyrics are powerful, relatable, and will really get you thinking. Music is special in the way that it can make you feel a lot less alone in your daily battles. Knowing that I am not the only one who has been through relationships and friendships that have negatively impacted me is a comforting feeling. It is okay to let those people go and to prioritize you. We are told far too often to give and give and give to others but that should never be at an emotional cost to yourself. Prioritize "me time," surround yourself with positive people, and take care of your physical and mental well-being. These things are just as important.