I’ve been a fan of Taylor Swift since I took Talia to her Speak Now concert at MSG in 2012. She was so positive and gracious and talented musically. I thought that she was a fabulous role model for young girls. She made positive music, was generous and grounded with her fans and her messaging. Fast forward to us having a ball last summer at the 1989 tour at Met Life Stadium. 1989 was a great album and I loved the music and messages.
So, have you heard her new song yet? “Look What You Made Me Do” was released last week and is now everywhere… If you haven’t heard it yet, I don’t recommend it. As soon as it comes on I change the station and am hoping it drops out of airplay soon.
Why do I dislike it do much that I don’t want to hear it? Why do I feel so strongly that I am advising you not to listen to it?
That song is literally feeding the part of my brain that I don’t want to feed. The lower, reptilian part of my brain that has the blame reflex, the part that would rather not take responsibility for a situation (which is uncomfortable for my ego) and instead blame someone else, thus giving my power away. The part of my brain that is fast, wired from birth to protect myself and go into fight or flight (fear and anger) even when there actually isn’t a physical threat, but perhaps an emotional or imaginary one… so fast that I have had to work really hard to be mindful to avoid reinforcing it, and instead overriding it to be in a higher part of my brain so I can better decisions as to what is the best way to handle uncomfortable situations.
Here’s the deal: the way that our brain works is that what we experience is what we are practicing and what we are feeding — what we are making stronger. Even if it is passive experiences, like listening to a song, it is changing our brain.
So if we listen to a song that has a chorus of blame (and no, it doesn’t matter if she is kidding because our brain actually doesn’t know when we are kidding), repeating over and over “Look what you made me do,” we are literally wiring those pathways and making it more likely that next time something doesn’t go your way, instead of being resourceful and empowered, you will blame others and will feel stuck as a victim.
We need to feed the part of our brain that we want to grow. Feed the “taking responsibility for yourself and your choices” part. Feed the “It’s never cool to be rude” part. Feed the “I care” part. Feed the “Every challenge is an opportunity” part. Feed the “Be the change you want to see in the world” part.
Imagine if everyone everywhere in the world was repeating over and over “Look what you made me do?” I’m not joking. This is serious. This is the difference between being choosing to be a victim or choosing to be a hero in your own life. Choose to be a hero and choose to feed your brain material the paves the way to more good choices.
I love you Taylor Swift, and I am saying that your new song is not worth listening to. Instead, listen to music that is positive and inspiring. It really does make a difference.