Michael Learns To Rock - Take Me To Your Heart (with Closed Caption)
You know, I think it's just by putting my standards first. And actually, when I first started to perform and I saw that it was actually starting to go somewhere, I actually remember making a promise to myself and a promise to God, that I would keep--you know, "This is where the line is, this is where I'm going to draw it, and that's where it's going to stay." And it's actually been amazingly protective, I guess. And sometimes--I'm not going to lie--I'm definitely not perfect, and there have been times when I've almost, like, looked upward to heaven and been like, "Oh, this is for You. Like, this is such a sacrifice right now"--you know, and almost slightly begrudgingly been like, "Okay, I'm going to do this, but it's all for You." And then in hindsight, it's amazing to think that these standards really have protected me; they've kept me safe; they've kept me sane in an industry and in my own life. Everything's changing constantly, and sometimes it's hard not to get the rug swept out from under you and forget who you are. But because my foundation is solid, I just keep having to remember that if I ever get that attitude of, like, "Oh, this is all for You," no, it's actually not. It's for me. And I can't help but say that I'm very happy as a result of the structure of the gospel standards. Thank you. Boy, what a great message. Yeah. It is. Right? You feel that happiness because you're true to yourself. M-hm. Yeah. Well, here's a question from Jesse M. from Canada, who asks--and this kind of has to do with what you were just talking about--"You always seem to have a clear idea of what you want from your work, and watching you bring your vision to life is incredible. Does your relationship with God have any affect on the strength of your vision"--there's a little bit more--"for your art and your work ethic? If so, how?" I mean, I think, definitely so. Kind of like I stated in the first question, I really feel like sometimes I'll write these songs, and I just think, you know, that couldn't have come from me alone. I believe that God inspires us. I believe that He gives us gifts and talents. And of course, it's up to us to develop them and choose what we do with them. But you know, He's given us talents and gifts to share them. And that's part of the reason that I love doing what I do, is, I feel like when I'm onstage and when I'm performing, or when--I think when anybody is developing their talents and sharing it, I think you glow. I really think you do, because I think you're representing the best side of yourself in the gifts that God has given you. And when I'm in that moment, I can almost feel the glow, and I can see it in other people when they're performing and doing what they love and doing it in a way that God would approve of it and He would be happy if it was His daughter or His son. Like, you can literally see the glow in other people or feel it in yourself. And that's, I think, the best way to share who you are and what you believe in. I think people see that in you and respond to that. Can I ask a follow-up question? Yeah. Cameron asks, "Which one of your songs means the most to you?" They're all like my little babies. They're like my children. I saw them born in the studio. But I would say, one of the most meaningful ones is probably "Shatter Me." It's one of the first times I ever wrote lyrics to a song. And you know, I wrote it based kind of on--and I'll talk about it a little bit later. I'm going to play "Shatter Me." But I wrote it based on one of the hardest things I've ever been through. And it means a lot when you get to share a piece of who you are through your music. Okay. Here's a great question. I think this is really an important issue. It's from Madison Marie in Georgia. She said, "School, work, sports, friends, and my own mind put a lot of pressure on me. How can I find self-worth in a world where I can never measure up and where I am never enough? If I am a consistent failure, how can I see that I have any worth at all?" You know, man, that's a hard-hitting question. I think that so many times we're so much harder on ourselves than anybody else is, and it's so easy to view experiences as a failure. For example, when I went onto America's Got Talent, I still in my mind view it as probably the most embarrassing failure of my life. However, I made it to the quarterfinals, and people sometimes remind me of that. They're like, "Linds, you made it to the quarterfinals." But it was--you know, in my mind it was such a failure just because of the way it ended and just because of the hurt and embarrassment I felt. It was like the most humiliating failure. But I also think that a lot of times, we feel--and I get drawn into this so much. I feel like it's the lesson I keep having to learn over and over again, is that worldly pursuits and acclaims and success and beauty--whatever it is--will never make you happy. And you know, that kind of happiness, it's like a parasite that constantly needs to be fed, and not just fed the same amount. In order to stay happy, it has to constantly be fed more and more, and it has to grow. Otherwise you're failing, or you're not succeeding, or you're unhappy. And it's just--it's unsustainable. And I've just learned this over and over again, as I have--and I just--I love a quote from one of my favorite movies. This might be before all of your time, but have any of you guys seen Cool Runnings? It's a great movie. If you haven't seen it, it's about a Jamaican bobsled team. And one of my favorite movie quotes ever comes from that movie, where the coach of this bobsled team, he had cheated when he was in the Olympics years before, and now he's coaching this team. And the team finds out about it. And one of the members of the team approaches the coach. And he says, "Coach, you had four gold medals. You'd won four gold medals. How could you possibly--like, why would you cheat to get a fifth one?" And this is the line that has always stuck with me. He said, "A gold medal is a wonderful thing, but if you're not enough without it, you will never be enough with it." And that is so true. The things that actually give true self-esteem--I love, in the Doctrine and Covenants--I can't remember the reference, but it says, "Let virtue garnish thy thoughts unceasingly; [and] then [will your] confidence wax strong." And when you were, like--you know, this learning process that I went through, that kind of, I wrote "Shatter Me" about, was about that. I was probably the skinniest I've ever been. I was doing well in school. I was everything that everyone probably thought would make me happy. And I have never been so--I've never hated myself so much and I've never been so unhappy as this time. And it was because I was gaining happiness from everything else besides what was inside. And really, it's all about learning that we are daughters and sons of God. And if you take everything else away--if I took my violin away, if I took everything else away, that needs to be enough. And that's, I think, the constant pursuit that we all need to have. It's hard. And it's so hard not to let the numbers and everything else get in my head of "That's what's making me happy," because at the end of the day, they're not. So that's a journey you've been on. I mean, you've been through a time when you were struggling, just like many people have. Yeah. Well, and I think it's also important to realize that it's not like I've made it. It's not like every day, I wake up and look in the mirror and I'm like, "You've got it, girl. You rock." No. Everybody wakes up and has rough days. And some days are better than others. And it's a constant cycle that I just--and it's--but the amazing thing is, as I go through it over and over again, and every time, it gets quicker. I get quicker at learning the signals that I'm relying on the wrong things for happiness, and I'm able to bounce back quicker and be happy. You know, and rather than the first time I went through it, it took me about a year and half to get through that cycle. And every time I go through it, I come out quicker and better. Good. But you've been very open about some of the challenges that you have faced in your life. And here's a question that may address some of that that would be good to talk about. This young woman named Emmy, from Texas, says, "I've been trying to gain self-confidence, and the only way I feel I will be happy is if I'm thin. I'm not fat, but I'm not skinny either. It kills me to feel this way all the time. I want to be happy with myself, but how? How can you be proud of yourself when the world sees you as nothing?" You know, I think when "the world sees you as nothing," that's so subjective. And there are certain people and certain industries, or whatever, that will judge everybody and maybe think you're nothing. But in a large part, my favorite people on this planet--I don't like them because they're skinny. I don't like them because they're fashionable. I don't like them because they're popular. Like, think about the people that you love and the people that you just want to be around all the time, and they usually--those things, even if they have them, it doesn't matter. And I think, so many times I put that in my own head when I was struggling. I struggled with anorexia for years. And I didn't even realize that I had a problem until I got sucked in pretty deep and finally realized that I wanted to be happy again. And when I realized there was a problem, finally, I knew what to change. But it really is ironic that was the saddest I've ever been, was when I was--you know, I had achieved all of the things I wanted. I was so disgustingly thin, but I was so unhappy. And I remember training my brain to think positively. And it was--I had to practice. The same way I practice the violin and practice my scales and practice them slowly until the notes are right, and the same way I practiced dancing and would look in the mirror and see my form, that's the exact same thing I went through to kind of retrain my brain to think positively, because I was so negative. And every time I would look in the mirror, all I could see was the flaws. And I remember, I'd just say, "You're beautiful." Every day I'd wake up and look in the mirror and say it 20 times, even though tears would stream down my face because I didn't believe it and I knew it wasn't true. But just the process of retraining your brain and praying over my food and lying and saying I was grateful to eat it, and just step by step until I had trained my brain, and with the help of my family and my close ones and even going to some professional help--I went to counseling, and I went to group therapy--and through that, learning that there were people that love me. The world didn't see me as a failure. Maybe someone did, but the people around me that loved me, they thought I was everything but a failure. And they were there to remind me of it. And most importantly, my testimony and self-worth and individuality and individual worth got so strengthened. Hm. Great. That is such a great message for so many young women. Thank you for sharing that. That takes a lot of courage. So we've had a lot of questions. Are you ready for another song? Oh. Yes. So tell us about this song, because-- Yeah. I think this really ties into-- Yeah. --what you've been talking about. So this song is called "Shatter Me." And the reason I called it "Shatter Me" is because when I was writing my album, I had this vision in my head of this ballerina. She looks perfect, and she has flawless porcelain skin, and she holds this perfect position as she spins in this beautiful snow globe. And so it's her song in this music box, is what the song is. And she starts to realize that she wants to change. She doesn't want to stagnantly twirl in the same position. She wants to move. She wants to play. She wants to dance. But as she does so, she begins to crack because the movement is too much for her perfect porcelain skin to take. And at one point, she looks at herself and she sees all of these cracks. And she just gets absolutely terrified because she thinks, "If I break, will there be anything left of me, or will I shatter?" And that was the point I got to. I started to change and try to face my eating disorder and to confront it and to push it away. But it was like I had built this shell around myself, and that's all I could see. That's all I thought gave me value, was my looks, my weight, this image of being perfect. And as it started to chip away and I started to change, I was absolutely terrified because I thought, "There's not going to be anything left of value if I lose this." But I kept going in that. In the song, the ballerina shatters, and underneath is the real ballerina. And she's able to dance, and she's free. And she's not absolutely perfect, but she's free. And so that's the idea behind this song. It's called "Shatter Me," rather than shatter barriers or shatter--break free, or whatever. It's "Shatter Me" because I had to break through what I had thought was myself in order to find out who I actually was. And so this is the song of the ballerina in the music box. And play song.
Michael Learns To Rock - Take Me To Your Heart (with Closed Caption)