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ALBUM 99: What Janine has Taught Me About Vulnerability


 



What is Vulnerability? noun

  • The quality or state of being exposed to the possibility of being attacked or harmed, either physically or emotionally.


What is not Vulnerability? verb

  • Dumping all of your shit onto other flawed human beings & expecting them to suppress their own pain; this is so that they may have the ability to pity yours.



Janine is a quaint yet quirky ball of fire. she is a singer/songwriter from New Zealand. Probably around my sophomore year of college [when & the Mixtape were still in play], a Pandora jam session tapped me into her unique sound. Janine's soulful yet modern heart-wrenching ballads consistently leave me in awe. a phenomenal musical talent who often writes her own lyrics, as well as, composes her own music.

Personal belief: we all need Janine in our lives to remind ourselves of the pain which lies in our stories.

This is so that, we may constantly use our vulnerability to feed into the lives of others. given the chance: our lowest past occurrences can be the light needed to Get Through This Again.


Will Vulnerability break you?


  • Yes... that’s the point.


Regardless of how dark something may seem; God can still use your darkest moments as the foundation of someone else’s greatest come back. [Trust me] I know this can be beyond scary. Honestly, I’m outright terrified by the notion that,

“Someone else’s salvation can lie in the belly of my own testimony.”

Rhythmic guitar strings accompanied by Janine’s soulful melodies exude this type of energy.

The 99 masterpiece takes us on a journey through heartbreak, solemn meditation, and finally redemption. Janine dives deep into some real-ass beautiful dark moments with tracks like Too Late, Never The Right Time, & Unstable.


When you're forced to uncover the darkest parts of yourself - [the parts] drenched in shame and fear, lives will be saved. Those dark past moments are the current silent cries of our youth. It is so easy to talk about the “pretty parts” of our testimonies. Like when, “Jesus gave us this quiet whisper during Bible Study that warmed our hearts...”

  • Yes - the peace of Jesus is unmatched and everlasting.

I just assumed we had to expose ourselves to real turmoil in order to experience true peace. In Wrong Thing’s chorus, Janine uncovers this reality with melancholy lyrics, such as, “We always do the same thing... always blame it on the same thing... we be looking for the wrong thing...” Maybe,

everything around us is constantly failing, because we’re practicing the same habits, while expecting different results.

Looking back, can actually be an attribute to forward thinking. meaning, I’m only looking back to recognize why I am in my current state.

Janine’s Numb suggests, “If I had the time, I would rewind it... live some things again to be reminded - of what it was like when we weren’t fighting. I’m looking for your love, but I won’t find it.”

For some strange reason, all of my exes have been buzzing around my ear like bees lately. Anytime I feel a drop of weakness, my mind goes directly to Numb. Instantly, I’ll ask myself,

“Why would I back track to the same person whom destroyed me?”

It’s as if, I’m looking directly into the Fiery furnace, then immediately immersing myself in the burning flames. Looking back hurts. but, in order to grow, we must open ourselves up to this type of intentional pain. Look at it this way: currently, our lives are gradually turning at a safe pace, but imagine the momentum we can have as a culture, when we allow the Holy Spirit to speak through us freely [without doubt or shame].


Will Vulnerability heal you?


  • Idk... but, it has healed me


Don’t get me wrong–vulnerability does not only result in distraught and shame. oftentimes, righteous reflection is the key to our survival. Janine uses her Too Late track to remind herself and all of us,

“You might have been the one... now you’re someone else... know that you told me - no one would love me or treat me the way you do.”

I can only speak for myself, when I say, that line reflects how I survived the literal break down of my self-esteem by another person’s traumas. She goes on to stir even more emotions, “I refuse to believe... new strangers on my pillow & I’m still thinking of you.”

See friends, this opulent combination of words, embodies a common attribute of self-doubt & shame.

  • How can I really miss someone who treated me so bad?

  • What does that make me?

  • ANSWER: HUMAN.

This self doubt lurks in the crevices of our minds... in the middle of the night, while we order a bacon, egg, and cheese from the corner store. it can even appear when we should be experiencing moments of joy.

Why?

Because, if we do not adequately process our past traumas - we’ll end up feeding into those same uncertainties the enemy thrives off of [when used against us].

Nothing else will work; constantly thinking,

“Will this emptiness go away if I get high enough? Or should I make the worst decisions of my life at my best attempt to self sabotage...”

will only make things worse. How long can you deal with this insanity? I’m talking about having all the right things at the wrong time type of insanity? This is why I love Janine so much - she uses the 99 album to transcend across genres, in an effort to teach a very valuable lesson:

vulnerability heals more than it hurts.

Vulnerability is more than a hipster buzzword. it is a way of life. Having faith the size of a mustard seed and believing the mountain before you will move [even though you lack the strength to move it] is key to living a vulnerable life.

Do you understand how scary it is to tell the truth?



[Maybe, that’s why phony is so much more convenient than real?]




Janine’s words awaken courage in me. Every time we speak truth to our stories, one of God’s children is healed.


  • So yea,


this gift is worth the backlash, humiliation, and anxiety it is clothed in. For, if only ONE person is touched - our work is NOT in vain.


 


In Spring 2019, while attending Janine’s intimate showcase at the Roxy Theater in Los Angeles [life was so thrilling Pre-COVID], seeing many diverse faces throughout the crowd reinforced my belief in Janine’s messaging. Picture a dimly lit room with nearly every color shade person crying, laughing, snapping, clapping, and loving in unison to an exhilarating [yet calming] acoustic sound. In that moment, I quietly thought to myself,

“people are in search of something real.”
  • Am I going to make my story and myself available to them?

  • Are you?

Friends, this is not the time to let your past leave you meek and distraught. Do not grant the shallow powers at-be the ability to push you away from your pursuit of truth. In conclusion,

process your shit beloved, because we're ALL waiting on a healthy YOU to save OUR world.

My current Mantra:

Oftentimes, I just want to Be By Myself, while God gives me the strength to Hold On. Even when you Don’t Love Me and I become Numb; I will still attempt to let go of the Wrong Thing(s). When the craziness of this world, causes me to grow Unstable. will you be around to help me, Get Through This Again?