Rock Therapy: "Royals" by Lorde

I'm constantly listening to music: New, old and from all genres. I happened to be flipping through the radio one night after giving a workshop and heard this one. When a new song catches my attention I tend to listen to it over and over. I pulled over, downloaded it to my iPhone and listened to it about 10 times on the way home until I had the lyrics figured out and really appreciated the meaning in this one. This is more pop than rock, however, I like it because it has an anti-popular culture message to it. And for that I say, "Rock on!"

Royals By Lorde

I've never seen a diamond in the flesh I cut my teeth on wedding rings in the movies And I'm not proud of my address, in the torn up town No post code envy

But every song's like gold teeth, grey goose, trippin' in the bathroom Blood stains, ball gowns, trashin' the hotel room We don't care, we're driving Cadillacs in our dreams But everybody's like crystal, Maybach, diamonds on your time piece Jet planes, islands, tigers on a gold leash We don't care, we aren't caught up in your love affair And we'll never be royals It don't run in our blood That kind of lux just ain't for us We crave a different kind of buzz Let me be your ruler, you can call me queen B And baby I'll rule I'll rule I'll rule I'll rule Let me live that fantasy

My friends and I we've cracked the code We count our dollars on the train to the party And everyone who knows us knows that we're fine with this We didn't come from money

But every song's like gold teeth, grey goose, trippin' in the bathroom Blood stains, ball gowns, trashin' the hotel room We don't care, we're driving Cadillacs in our dreams But everybody's like crystal, Maybach, diamonds on your time piece Jet planes, islands, tigers on a gold leash We don't care we aren't caught up in your love affair And we'll never be royals It don't run in our blood That kind of lux just ain't for us We crave a different kind of buzz Let me be your ruler, you can call me queen B And baby I'll rule I'll rule I'll rule I'll rule Let me live that fantasy

We're bigger than we ever dreamed, and I'm in love with being queen Oh oh ohh life is game without a care We aren't caught up in your love affair And we'll never be royals It don't run in our blood That kind of lux just ain't for us We crave a different kind of buzz Let me be your ruler, you can call me queen B And baby I'll rule I'll rule I'll rule I'll rule Let me live that fantasy

Here are some rocking therapeutic principles and encouragement from this catchy tune with a solid message.

Refuse the Mainstream Mind-screw: "We don't care, we aren't caught up in your love affair" The masses, if you haven't noticed, are caught up in the "need more", discontented life-style of "never enough" and comparing to others. You may have even been snagged by those urges as well. I know I have at times. That love affair with all the royal "lux" causes most people to perceive only their "lack." In turn that blinds us to all the abundance there is for which to be grateful. Thich Naht Hanh stated, "Everyday we touch what is wrong, and, as a result, we become less and less healthy. Instead, we must touch what is right, inside us and around us." When Lorde sings that she and her friends don't care about the love affair of chasing after what they don't have, they are free to enjoy what they DO have: The fun of their friendship and the simple things of life like counting the few dollars they do have on their way to a party—and most of all knowing that it is enough.

High On Life: "We crave a different kind of buzz." Find that "high" or enjoyment in life from something grounded, attainable, meaningful, simple. Having ambitions and aspirations is fantastic, of course, but I don't believe in trying to fit the media-proclaimed mould of how you "should" be and how you fail if you don't match that made-up "standard" of success.

The Contentment Code:"My friends and I have cracked the code." I like this song's message that while the majority of the pop music culture is all about living a large, extravagant lifestyle that this girl and her friends have "cracked the code" and figured out that they are content with the simple life they lead. Discontentment is what is bred in popular culture: Your body isn't okay the way it is—you need bigger breasts and a smaller butt; Your don't own the best things: You need a a nicer car, a better home, the latest gadget; You're not enough like this neighbor, don't have the job, or lifestyle of that co-worker, etc. Mick Jagger sang about this in "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction",

"When I'm watchin' my TVand a man comes on to tell mehow white my shirts can be.Well he can't be a man 'cause he doesn't smokethe same cigarettes as me."

My wife, Kara, "The Wampum Queen", has very fine tastes and appreciates nice things, yet she is a Master of Contentment. Over the years, especially when I was a community mental health therapist ( = made very little moolah) I'd wish I could do more for her and I'd tell her, "Honey, I'm sorry you don't have this..." or "I wish I could do that for you." Without fail she'd respond, "Oh, that's okay. I don't care about that. I'm happy with what we have." And she really meant it. She wasn't just being nice, even though it was a very nice thing to say. I've also heard her say many times whether it's about material things or life experiences, "I can have it all. Just not all at once." Kara's cracked The Contentment Code. I simply cannot express how that has helped me as a man and as a provider to know that my efforts are not only appreciated but are also enough. She has the gift of contentment (or the wisdom to be content).

In Kara's spirit of contentment, Lorde continues to sing:

We count our dollars on the train to the partyAnd everyone who knows us knows that we're fine with this

Why? She explains, because"We didn't come from money" and they learned how to live life, with it's ups and downs on it's own terms. I respect that. I didn't come from money either. We struggled growing up. Money was scarce but we got by and we pulled together the best we could.  My kids, too, have learned that we sacrifice for each other, that they shouldn't just expect things, but that if they really want something they can get it through creativity, planning and hard work.

Create Your Own Kingdom: "Let me be your ruler, you can call me queen B" As I've already mentioned, my wife's nickname from our college days when we were just friends was "The Wampum Queen" (read that story here). What started as just a joke has continued into our marriage that in our little kingdom she is indeed my Queen, and as such, deserves to be treated accordingly. I know a lot of men who won't be "whipped" or told what to do by "their women" but not me. If my wife needs something or wants me to do something why wouldn't I just say, "Yes"? My favorite line from The Princess Bride is "As you wish" which unless you've been living under a rock the you know translates into "I love you." I teach the men I work with how to bow in humble service to "their women." It can be very hard to do this at first, but in the end they find that they lose nothing but useless pride and ego. As I bow to my queen the result is not only is she lifted up but she also in turn lifts me up as her alpha male.

And because of that great gift she's given me of my contentment, my four treasures (kids) and so much more, why wouldn't I say, "Yes" to whatever she asks of me? "Will you do this/that for me?" "Yes, my Queen. As you wish." And why not? One friend even quipped once that I was "whipped." Heh. Yeah... I replied, "Whatever. Look at my marriage. Look at yours." Boom, baby! Sad truth is that back then his wife was just about through with  him whereas mine adored me. Hmmm... wonder if there's any correlation there to letting my Queen rule....

Bloom Where You Are Planted:"We're bigger than we ever dreamed, and I'm in love with being queen." Kara and I counted the new items of furniture we have in our home after 21 years of being married. Over the past several months she saved for two new couches, which we just purchased, so with those our grand total equals four (4). Everything else in our house is a hand-me-down, a re-purposed, a scavenged, a found, a thrift store or yard sale find, or hand-made piece of furniture. Our kingdom is not filled with "lux" yet it is a lovely home. We are content and happy in our kingdom where my wife is proudly enthroned as Queen. Her contentment is I'm sure fueled by my recognition of her rightful place. She knows she doesn't have to compete EVER for my attention or affection or loyalty. I have sworn myself to serve her. Why wouldn't she be "in love with being queen"?