Ariana Grande: thank u, next

I know they say I move on too fast
But this one gon’ last
‘Cause her name is Ari
And I’m so good with that (so good with that)
She taught me love (love)
She taught me patience (patience)
How she handles pain (pain)
That shit’s amazing (yeah, she’s amazing)
I’ve loved and I’ve lost (yeah, yeah)
But that’s not what I see (yeah, yeah)
‘Cause look what I’ve found (yeah, yeah)

There isn’t too much to say about this song because it’s all there in the lyrics.

It’s about gratitude, impermanence, and self-love. 

Everything passes – all our relationships to anything in the world, to people, things, situations. And all we can do is learn from it and say thank u, next. 

Except, one relationship doesn’t pass and that’s to myself. I can find a good relationship to myself. I can treat myself as I would want to be treated by someone important in my life. I can treat myself – and anything coming up in me, all my experiences – with love, kindness, respect, as a good friend or lover. 

It’s an important pointer. In some ways, it’s the secret to life. And it’s beautiful to see it in pop culture, and especially when aimed at younger women as I assume this one is. Although the pointer is equally valid and essential independent of our gender or age. 

This song is completely aligned with the insights we find through The Work. I won’t be surprised if this will be a regular song at future Schools. 

Some additional notes

When Kris Jenner, in the audience, says thank u, next, bitch, it can be seen as an acknowledgment that Ariana Grande too is impermanent. Her Billboard number one listing is. Her fame is. And he is too. 

When I first wrote this, I had the impulse to say that I don’t usually listen to Ariana Grande, and am more of an Arvo Pärt man, and have to laugh at myself because it’s all about identity, the identity I want to have for myself and want others to see in me. And it’s pretty silly. It’s not real.  

Why is the Arvo Pärt identity not real? Because it’s an identity. It’s a label. It’s true I love Arvo Pärt and listen to him often. But it’s also true that I found myself really liking this song, and a lot of other songs from all genres, times, and cultures. What I am is always much more fluid than any identity, and it’s more than any identity, and – in some ways – something that can’t be touched by any identity. 

I should also mention that although our relationship with ourselves is the most important one in our life – it’s always here and is mirrored in all our other relationships – most of us are not taught much about this relationship. Our culture has traditionally ignored it. (Apart from learning to control ourselves, subdue natural impulses etc.) This is, fortunately, changing, and this song reflects and contributes to that change. 

Finally, after sharing this with an inquiry group on FaceBook, I am reminded that we see ourselves in the world. We put our own stories on it. To me, this song is about impermanence, gratitude, and self-love. And some others seem to see other things (which I see too, but I don’t find them interesting when the main message is so important and powerful). 

I am also reminded that the job of the younger generation is to have a taste (in music, clothes, art) that doesn’t make sense to the older generation…! It seems that Ariana Grande does that job well 🙂 

And yes, I am aware that much of what this song is connected with is not so healthy. For instance, the body ideals depicted in the video can create a lot of suffering and can fuel consumption and distractions from what’s more important in life.

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