What Beyoncé’s ‘XO’ Teaches Us About Love
The crazy thing about this post is it is almost four years in the making. Let me explain.
When Beyoncé came out with her self-titled album back in 2013, I was super infatuated with it. I totally wore it out.
Listening to the album and singing along was fun and made me feel confident, attractive, and slightly cocky. It was the background to many Girls’ Nights Out and my own private mirror dancing. The fast flirty tracks were amazing, but XO took me to another place completely.
The midtempo track grounded me back to reality and the lyrics made me understand just how precious time really is. At the time, I was dealing with a situation that the song warned against. I waited too long to be confessional about my love to a person I truly adored and he died before I admitted my undying affection after he had begged for it.
I remember listening to the song and vowing to myself that I would never let such a thing happen again; that I would always admit my love on time, no matter the consequence. I’d rather look stupid and be me honest than hide the truth and hurt myself or someone I love again.
When I started blogging back in 2016, I promised myself I would write about XO and the importance of admitting your feelings before it is too late, but I never really got around to it.
Now we have lost the beloved NBA veteran Kobe Bryant and his young daughter Gianna in a tragic helicopter accident and the song has re-emerged in pop culture and I thought I’d share my take.
After the shocking accident that claimed Kobe and Gianna, I shared a playlist I curated on my Twitter account which included XO along with several other songs that have helped me heal during my times of grief. Ironically, weeks later Beyoncé preformed the exact song at Kobe Bryant and Gianna’s public memorial, attributing it to be one of Kobe’s favorite songs.
What shocks me about the matter is Kobe enjoyed the song not understanding at the time he was a dying man. Literally seven years after the release of XO, Kobe and his beloved daughter, affectionately called Gi-Gi, would be deceased.
Bryant had no idea as he sang along to the lyrics, that his time was running out, and it makes me wonder- how many of us are trickling down on the sands of the hour glass, totally unaware that we have a limited amount of time to love and be loved?
At the time the song was released, Kobe was 34 looking forward to his last years in the NBA and eventually retiring to spend time with his family. Gi-Gi was only seven-years-old probably in first grade looking forward to the days ahead of high school, college, boyfriends, basketball, parties, or maybe just hoping to go home and play a game of Barbie with her big sis.
The pair had no idea, that as they sang along to XO on the car ride from school, that in a few short years their helicopter would be spiraling out of the sky claiming their future and dreams.
Look around at your own life. How many people have you loved and lost in the last six years? I’m so sure that you thought you had forever, but in reality daylight was wasting as XO’s lyrics proclaim.
Dr. Martin Luther King so eloquently spoke of the fierce urgency of now. In reality, all of us are dying individuals. Many of us have more days behind us than ahead. Like King stated we must be concerned with the grave importance of the present.
Why wait? Why wait to tell people you love them? Why wait to go back to school? Why wait to start that business? Why wait to do any good thing that will bring you joy?
We have no idea when our lives will end. “Tomorrow was made for some,” to quote Donnie Hathaway’s classic song For All We Know. This decade, let us be better stewards over our lives, but especially better at confessing our love to the people that mean the most.
Call and visit your older relatives. Buy a small gift for that coworker whose company you enjoy. Tell your friends and parents how much they mean to you. Show your affection to your spouse or significant other. Maybe even tell your crush or the one you are playing coy with how you truly feel.
I’m sure even if Kobe Bryant who lived such a successful life had have known his days with his wife and family were limited, he would have done even more to express his love.
The clock is ticking, love hard, and love now. This might be a sign- heed it.
Time is wasting and we don’t have forever…Baby Kiss me, before they turn the lights out …. Baby, Love me….lights out.
Listen to Bishop TD Jakes’s sermon about the importance of the present .