Monday, March 18, 2013

“Don't you ever let a soul in the world tell you that you can't be exactly who you are.” - Lady Gaga

                I’ve been having ‘big’ thoughts lately thanks to some reading and a couple of groups I meet with every week. I’ll start with a little fact about me. I am borderline obsessed with Lady Gaga. I love her music, her personality and guts, and her message. Even with her provocative outfits and word choices, she has a strong, clear message she speaks. In case you don’t know her story, a quick background: Stefani Germanotta was bullied during her school years. She said that she was different and always felt like a freak. She struggled for years, but finally made it as a pop star. She speaks out as an LGBT activist, campaigned to raise money for the prevention of HIV/AIDS, started a non-profit organization for youth empowerment, self-confidence, and anti-bullying.  She really talks and tries to connect to her fans and speaks the message of self love and fighting against rejection from others and yourself. (To find out more about Lady Gaga, you can learn a lot on her Wikipedia page or at
                Anyways, my obsession with Lady Gaga comes into play with relating her message to something we’ve been talking about in prayer groups. After St. Monica-St. George’s retreat last month, the Women’s Group has been reading Henri Nouwen’s Life of the Beloved. In a section of his book called Taken, Nouwen discusses how we are all the chosen children of God. He loves us unconditionally, with the good and the bad. This is a hard concept to understand, and even more so, fully accept. It is hard to think that if I do something wrong that really upsets me, that God still loves me just the same. Yes, He probably wants me to do better, but he never stops loving me. And if I do something great, I’m sure He is proud of me, but I can never do anything that will make Him love me anymore than He already does, or anymore than He loves anyone else. An excerpt from the section really stood out to me:

                 The world is “manipulative, controlling, power-hungry, and, in the long run, destructive. The world tells you many lies about who you are, and you simply have to be realistic enough to remind yourself of this. Every time you feel hurt, offended, or rejected, you have to dare to say to yourself: “These feelings, strong as they may be, are not telling me the truth about myself. The truth, even though I cannot feel it right now, is that I am the chosen child of God, precious in God’s eyes, called the Beloved from all eternity, and held safe in an everlasting embrace.”

                It discusses the reality that the world is not a perfect place. Actually, it can be quite terrible at times. Bad things happen and everyone, including you and me, has dark days during their lives. But through all of this, God loves you just the same. He loves you even when you can’t see why and even when you reject His love. After reading this I knew I had to print it out and hang it on my wall. You should too! I know it will be encouraging on bad days, and the good days too. Nouwen goes on to discuss how self rejection is a way of not accepting God’s love. We allow other people and things to determine our worth and make us feel rejected or unaccepted. Nouwen says that God has chosen us, we have a meaningful purpose in this life, and He loves us. This is where Lady Gaga comes back to us J

                “When the whole world has their eyes on you, if you say something that doesn’t truly come from your spirit and your soul, or if you wear something that doesn’t come from your spirit and your soul, it’s  an injustice to your position. And so, I’m really myself every single day and I do it because I know my fans would want me to.”
                -Lady Gaga

                Lady Gaga has found that she is happy being herself and that you should never let anyone else make you feel less than you are. She wears whatever she thinks is artful or meaningful to her and doesn’t let anyone else make her feel bad about it. She stands for what she believes in and won’t back down. It is a great message, I think, to hold true to. Be yourself! Stand up for yourself and what you believe in! Love yourself! You are a chosen child of God! Why not live up to your full potential when you are loved by God and he wants you to be you?! So, I hope this long post (sorry) has made you think about and appreciate God’s love for you, inspired you to go out there and be exactly who you are meant to be in this world, and maybe even sparked a little interest in Lady GagaJ I’ll leave you with a final quote from Lady Gaga that she spoke to her audiences during her Monster Ball Tour:

                “Tonight I want you to forget all of your insecurities. I want you to reject anyone or anything that ever made you feel like you don’t belong or don’t fit in or made you feel like you’re not good enough or pretty enough or thin enough or can’t sing well enough or dance well enough or write a song well enough or like you’ll never win a Grammy or you’ll never sell out Madison Square Garden. You just remember that you’re a superstar and you were born this way!

                May tonight be your liberation from all those things.

… I would pray and dream that one day just one person would believe in me, so when you leave here tonight, know that at least one person believes in you.”
Know that God always believes in you. So love the awesome person that is you!
<3 Katie

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