I’m late to the party. Maybe it’s because I’m a “Cry Macho” adolescent who grew up on Sylvester Stallone and Clint Eastwood. And so my music has always been somewhat edgy. Adele wasn’t even on the menu.

But then. For whatever reason, I started listening to this one song:

I love this song. And I have it on repeat.

And I think it can speak to everyone, because we can all relate.

Of course I’m projecting, here. But here’s what I see and hear in this song.

The lyrics

This idea of going easy on me is such a great lyric. It reminds me of someone who once told me about hypersensitive people (HSP’s). There’s a movie on it, actually, starring that singer Alanis Morrisette. I didn’t see the movie yet…

But we all have our vulnerabilities. It’s only a matter of time until that arrow hits our ankle. Life has a way of breaking people. And maybe there’s a time of our lives when we need to have someone go easier on us than normal.

In the song, just like in real life, Adele was going through a divorce. And she has a child with the person she was married to. And as we all know – this information cannot be absorbed by a younger mind. It’s too much. There’s nothing more terrifying than to watch Mom and Dad leave.

So that’s part of the dynamic where she has to reconcile this inside of her mind. It can be perceived as selfish for the parent by the child to leave what should otherwise be a perfect household. Meaning, it’s not just about going easy on her, in this case, but I think it’s also for the child. And in many ways she’s like the child.

What’s great about this song is that it is a song. Adele has taken her feelings and transmogrified them into this beautiful piece of art. Instead of moving away from her pain and anxiety, she seems to bravely and courageously move toward it, her anxiety.

Anxiety has a Message

When this happens to us, we can ask: “What do you need from me, Anxiety?”

And its job is to tell you, “I don’t feel safe right now.”

Which is another translation or way of Adele saying, “Go easy on me”, because she doesn’t feel safe. At least not right now.

The protector is gone. (The parents are gone.) The husband is gone. And in the video she’s leaving the life she had.

Who will be the protector now?

Adele’s voice is otherworldy. It’s so strong. And it carries us as she drives. Her long nails in the wind.

As she drives and sings there’s a certain emancipation element. It’s like she’s gone through the fire. And now that the protectors are gone, so to speak, she has to become the protector of herself. And thus to raise a certain boundary. This boundary is a request that recognizes she is human and there’s only so much she or anyone can take.

Put through another lense, her other-worldy voice seems to sing, “I’m still here. I’m a woman now who has gone through this and it’s made me stronger. And I’m going to keep you safe and communicate to go easy on me because quite frankly, I’m old and wise.”

I know nothing about Adele’s life. I didn’t read her bio. Like I said, I just played her song five minutes ago. Here’s more of what I gathered.

We can postulate that her relationship worked for quite a while. Because we don’t get into these things unless it’s at least great in the beginning. And so she probably became enmeshed with her partner, as we all tend to do. And for that period of time her couple bubble kept her safe. That is, when the relationship was safe.

But then something happened. And then it happened again. And it turned into a trauma cycle.

We can safely assume, especially because of the pressure of her son, that she did try to stick it out. As we all do. Nobody wants to have their child feel abandoned. Plus in this society you go to “hell” if you divorce, so goes the scripture.

Which brings up the question: How close is too close? How far away is too far away?


In this society we don’t have boundaries. We like to tell people everything. Unless it’s business. If it’s business, then we say, “We’ll tell you this proprietary information, but you’re going to have to sign this non-disclosure agreement. If you leave the company, this information does not belong to you. So you cannot take it with you.” And everybody understands because some coder worked really hard at that Facebook code. It was really hard to create that thumbs up sign.

Plus, in America, we get signing contracts and legal forms every two seconds because time is money. In other words, sinners are poor. And being poor is worse than being a sinner.

But when you are in a relationship, we want to trust the person we are with completely. Otherwise what is it worth? And so you tell them everything without a contract. Which is all fine and dandy until that person betrays us. And then they do it again. And again.

With that said, I didn’t make a contract in my marriage. Maybe I’m a hopeless romantic who goes down with the ship. I agree I kind of am. I’m like, “There’s no not making this work. I’m going to die trying if that’s what it takes. I’m all in. And you can take all my stuff if this doesn’t work because if this doesn’t work then there is no good in the world.”

“Geez you’re a hopeless romantic,” my one friend says.

But my wife says, “If I was to describe you, it would be as fiercely loyal.”

That’s good enough for me.

I guess some people make contracts in their marriage. There’s even a “Shark Tank” episode on it this week. It’s a new product where you can pull up an app on your cell phone, and in 20 minutes create a short marriage contract that your parents will be happy about. It’s called “Hello Prenup”.

Anyway, how do we learn the lesson when it is time to put up the wall?

At what point do we come to the conclusion that we have fallen into the well of “excessive loyalty”?

How close is too close? How far away is too far away?

I don’t know, but there is probably some safety in having some healthy boundaries. Especially if the person you are in a relationship with is unsafe or even suspect.

There’s a great line in Woody Allen’s “Husbands and Wives” where Mia Farrow says to Woody Allen’s character, “You take all of our personal dramas and turn them into movie gold.”

Maybe Mia shouldn’t disclose everything if she knows he’s going to do that. On the other hand, that’s how Woody processes. He goes into the world of art because what he’s going through is too much, too dark, and it’s something that he can’t handle. It’s not something we can handle, either, no matter which side you’re on.

And so this song holds this idea – there are some things that are so painful – that we can’t handle them. So go easy on me.

This is when the well overfills. And the lyrics to that other song, “When the bullet hits the bone.”

Anyway, I’m glad that I transferred over to Adele. Geez if this one song had this effect on me, I’m wondering what will happen when I listen to the rest of the album?

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