Look What You Made Me Do

Like millions of others, my daughters anticipated the new song by Taylor Swift and they weren’t disappointed. While most critics have bashed Look What You Made Me Do, millions of fans have helped Swift break streaming, download, and video view records and it’s predicted the song will hit #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 Chart next month.

I like the song. Maybe it’s easy for me to like it because my girls literally grew up with Taylor Swift. Every single one of her songs has been played over and over and over in our house, on the computer, in the car, or on their phones. Wherever they could be played, TS songs were played. So in a way, I grew up as a mom with Taylor Swift. From Teardrops on My Guitar to Look What You Made Me Do is a lot of growing.

As I listen to Look What You Made Me Do, I’m reminded of a time as a young woman when I had the same attitude as the one played out in the song. After some heartbreaks I vowed I would never be hurt again. I didn’t trust others and kept everyone at arm’s length. I was strong and independent and ready to take on the world.

Like Taylor, “I got smarter, I got harder in the nick of time.” Only my heart became harder and harder because with every hurt a wall was built around my heart. Another hurt, another wall. Walls of sarcasm and suspicion. Walls of bitterness, pride and stony ambition.

But the thing about walls around our hearts is they don’t work. Not if we want love and joy and peace. Walls keep these away.

So what do I tell my young daughter when she’s betrayed by a friend? Or when someone calls her a name? What do I do when I’m lied to? Or ignored? Or uninvited?

I can tell my daughter to treat those who mistreated her the same way. I can tell her to ignore them and never talk to them again. I can snub those who ignore me and unfriend those who no longer welcome me.

But there is a better way. I’ll be kind to them. I’ll smile and speak when I see them. And I’ll forgive them. I’ll tell my daughters to do the same. Forgiveness may be a process and one I have to work hard at but it’s the only way to do it if I want to love and live well.

I will tell my daughters to fight to keep their hearts soft. “Become wiser. Don’t give in to what you want to do at first. Don’t let this song or all the others like it become the anthem of your lives. Don’t give in to how the world says to treat those who hurt you. Instead, be kind and brave. And forgive them.”

Above all else, guard your heart,
    for everything you do flows from it.     Proverbs 4:23 NIV

While lessons learned should make us wiser, they shouldn’t make us harder. Hearts are meant to be soft and without walls. It’s the only way we learn to love.

Maybe smarter in the nick of time. But not harder.

Photo by Gabriele Diwald on Unsplash

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No Comments

  1. Paula on August 31, 2017 at 11:01 pm

    A beautiful way to teach one of life’s hard lessons.

    • mariegriffith on August 31, 2017 at 11:06 pm

      Thanks Paula. I don’t think there’s an easy way around it.

  2. Karen Terry on September 1, 2017 at 9:34 am

    What a wonderful post Marie. I have a daughter who loves Taylor too and we’ve spent hours discussing the lyrics to her songs. Love you.

    • mariegriffith on September 1, 2017 at 9:51 am

      The same here, Karen. So many teachable moments and great conversations have happened over the years because of her songs. Love you both!!

  3. brucewmartin on September 1, 2017 at 7:19 pm

    I love your encouragement to be “kind and brave.” They are often seen as being in opposition to each other. But that is exactly what Jesus modeled for us!

    • mariegriffith on September 1, 2017 at 7:32 pm

      Thank you Bruce. Yes it is what Jesus modeled. It takes courage to be kind to those who hurt you.

  4. Robin Turner on September 1, 2017 at 9:03 pm

    So good. Wow! I want to keep fighting for my heart! Such a good word.

    • mariegriffith on September 1, 2017 at 9:56 pm

      Thank you Robin. Let’s fight together. It’s better that way.

  5. Joy Waters Martin on September 2, 2017 at 12:17 pm

    Incredible read this morning, Marie! Thank you for sharing your tender heart with us. The temptation to “snub those who ignore me and unfriend those who no longer welcome me” is so much easier and what my hard heart wants to do. Thanks for jump starting me out of that thinking today and encouraging me to offer forgiveness again to those who have wounded.

    • mariegriffith on September 2, 2017 at 12:26 pm

      Thank you Joy. It really is a fight isn’t it? Thankfully we have One who fights for and with us. Love you.

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  7. Robyn on October 18, 2017 at 7:17 pm

    Such a beautiful post. I also grew up with Taylor, and love her and the song!! This is just beautiful and I think Taylor would love it. ❤

    • mariegriffith on October 18, 2017 at 7:38 pm

      Thank you Robyn. We are definitely Taylor fans. We can hardly wait for her album release.

      • Robyn on October 18, 2017 at 7:38 pm

        You’re welcome! Me either!!! It’s going to be amazing!!

  8. Fortunately Human on October 19, 2017 at 3:43 am

    Beautiful…. I wonder how you have directed everything to a logical and reasonable end…yes…the heart sees no walls….it is the mind that draws boundaries….love is what heart understands…and that will make our lives easier and the world awesome….

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  10. 1kindness2day on February 14, 2018 at 8:27 pm

    No wall, whether metaphorical or costing billions, has ever kept out pain and hurt. I love how you’ve taught courage, forgiveness and kindness instead. Thank you.

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