When I think of music and love, the first thing that comes to my mind is Epiphany sung soulfully by Jin of BTS. To live and to love are two different things but what does it mean to lead a life with love for yourself? Why is it so important?
참 이상해 분명 난 너를 너무 사랑했는데
It’s so odd, I loved you so much for sure
모두 너에게 맞추고 널 위해 살고 싶었는데
I adapted myself entirely to you, I wanted to live for you
그럴수록 내 맘속의 폭풍을 감당할 수 없게 돼
But as I kept doing so, I became unable to bear the storm inside my heart
웃고 있는 가면속의 진짜 내 모습을 다 드러내
I got to fully reveal my true self under the smiling mask
A closer glance at the lyrics might tell us that Epiphany was a declaration of self-love. To some, it might be a reminder to take care of themselves, to embrace the “ugly”, to remind ourselves how we are not perfect — jagged, uneven, and scarred. Epiphany tells us why it’s so important you do more than just survive.
A lyric in Epiphany goes,
조금은 뭉툭하고 부족할지 몰라
Perhaps I’m a bit dull and imperfect
수줍은 광채 따윈 안 보일지 몰라
Perhaps people might not see my shy sparkle
하지만 이대로의 내가 곧 나인 걸
But I’m me just as I am
지금껏 살아온 내 팔과 다리 심장 영혼을
My arms, legs, heart, and soul that I have lived with until now
Epiphany is Jin declaring to the world that he finally understands himself. Perhaps he is not as beautiful as he wishes he was but he is who he is and that is more than enough.
Epiphany is not a simple declaration of love to oneself. It is not looking into the mirror and saying, this is who I really am, I am better than I think I am — it is Jin gently cradling himself and saying it’s okay that he exists just as he is and he does enough. He is who he is and that is enough.
The first time I listened to Epiphany, the lyrics that stuck out to me the most was when Jin went, “I’m the one I should love in this world.” The word should shift something inside of me.
It's not always we are reminded to love ourselves. And every time, we are, it’s a gentle reminder, a possibility, something that looks hazy for the future. When Jin said we should, phrasing it as something almost necessary, it struck me more than it should.
To live in a world where we are reminded to be kind to one another, to love as fiercely as we can, how many of us are told to love who we truly are?
How many of us are told it’s important that we do? We wake up every single day and drag our bodies from day to day, night to night, from room to room, and exist. How many of us truly know who we are? How many of us look at ourselves with the same gentleness and love we reserve for the people we care so dearly about?
(흔들리고 두려워도 앞으로 걸어가)
(Even if you get disturbed and feel afraid, walk forward)
(폭풍 속에 숨겨뒀던 진짜 너와 만나)
(Meet your true self that you hid inside the storm)
왜 난 이렇게 소중한 날 숨겨두고 싶었는지
Why did I want to hide my precious self
뭐가 그리 두려워 내 진짜 모습을 숨겼는지
What made me so afraid that I hid my true self
Epiphany is not a simple act of self-love. It is not Jin simply telling us we should love who we are. It is Jin reminding us we are human and being human means being deeply flawed. It is a reminder that self-love does not come easy. It is not something we learn overnight. It is not something that comes instilled in us already. It is something we learn. It is something we understand.
It is a reminder that we should be kinder to ourselves — after all, it is our own legs that carry us everywhere.