“I Can Do Hard Things”
By: Jennifer Nettles
This song for me is a truth telling, a blood letting, a real-life heart opening to what it means to be a grown woman. It is my offering to honor the reality that, as I like to say, “everything is everything.”
When I was a young girl, and even a young woman, I indulged the duality, the tempting, dichotomous fantasy, that Life can be neatly compartmentalized into “wrong or right,” “black or white,” “happy or sad.” As I became a woman, and most certainly upon maturing into a mother, I came to see that we live in the “in between”, in the grey, and that sometimes things can be both happy AND sad.
For a while this discovery was quite conflicting in its unfamiliarity. As women we are taught that we must do it all and act like we like doing it all. That, for example, our love for our children is somehow contingent upon our love of every moment of being a mother. As if Life were an “either/or” instead of what it really is: “both/and”. And as I began to acknowledge that Truth within me, that coexistente holding of everything all at once, I began to learn about pain and resilience and strength and tenderness. And then I happened to read “Love Warrior” by Glennon Doyle Melton. Within her story, she shared that while indeed life can be hard, we are “made for hard things” just as much as we are made for joyous, easy ones.
I read those words and I saw every woman’s story.
I saw that we are resilient.
That change is hard and loss is hard and being a mom is hard and living one’s Truth is hard.
That Truth became so loud that I had to sing it.
I can do hard things.
Jennifer Nettles is a mother. She is also a GRAMMY award winning singer/songwriter who has sold millions of albums and concert tickets. Her acting chops have landed her roles on Broadway as Roxie Hart in Chicago and on the small screen in Dolly Parton’s Emmy-nominated Christmas of Many Colors. She will star in Focus Features’ forthcoming Harriet Tubman biopic titled Harriet.