I’ve understood that truly loving someone involves giving up part of yourself and allowing them into the sacred space of your self. In both the happy and sad endings of loving someone, I’ve begun to see that love and loss aren’t at odds, but are mutually inclusive. — Garrett Russell, Vocalist of Silent Planet

Understanding Love As Loss: A Reflection

Does the date September 7, 2012 ring a bell for you? Unless something life-changing affected you, that day is most likely lost in the history of your conscious. But do not fret my friend for I am in the same boat as you. That day has no particular significance for me and society, at least initially it wasn’t for me.

One individual who will never forget the date listed above was a young fifteen year old girl by the name of Amanda Todd. On that uneventful September day, Amanda would post a video on the internet that would chronicle her great journey into severe depression through the medium of cyber-bullying. This mental illness caused by the actions of hate and pride would later convince Amanda to take her life in the following month of October.

What truly makes the story of Amanda Todd a true tragedy is not just the loss of her life, but the repulsive and disgusting course of action that culture employed to deal with this issue. When Amanda posted the video in September there seemed to be no help for her, no one knew about her, and no one seemed to have loved her until it was too late.

Society rejected her due to her authentic weakness.

It wouldn't be until October 10, 2012, the day she committed suicide, that her video would go viral and show how ‘ghastly’ our society can be, at least that’s how society put it.

One question seems to shout out above the rest: Why would a girl who endured such indescribable self-hatred never reach out for help?

Maybe she did… we just never listened.

In a world that unrelentingly exhorts youth to form a façade of self identity through social hierarchy and temporal beauty, Silent Planet’s “Understanding Love as Loss” combats this front through the revelation of a broken individual who needs someone to show her the true value of her existence.

In a world that unrelentingly exhorts youth to form a façade of self identity through social hierarchy and temporal beauty, Silent Planet’s “Understanding Love as Loss” combats this front through the revelation of a broken individual who needs someone to show her the true value of her existence.

Before I begin to identify my observations within the video, I invite you to watch the whole thing for yourself. See how many things you can pick out of the video. Maybe you will find relationships that I could never conceive. What I know for sure is that you will encounter a song that teaches culture one of the most important lessons it needs to learn.

Welcome back! Hopefully you have watched the video and have found some peculiar anomalies within the song. I know I sure did! Let me show you what I found.

First let me talk about our main character. Obviously our main character is the young woman who seems to be alone within the confines of this world. This physical separation may also represent the social and emotional disconnection she has from other individuals.

One of the more puzzling ideas presented in the video is found at the very beginning of the video. In the beginning we see a hornet moving its body backwards,which is obviously unnatural. Most likely the video footage is reversed to get this effect, but what is the philosophical significance?

Although the creature does not naturally want to move in that direction, it is bound to time (in an invisible force), and must obey it since it is a physical being, since all physical beings are bound to time.

I believe that we as a human species are in a quite similar situation as the hornet with our culture. That being when culture tells us it is moving in a specific way, we must move that way as well, even though it may be unnatural for us, but it still seems that we obey it. Even though the motions that society makes are destructive as seen with Amanda, we follow its commandments, since we are a species of culture and conformity.

One of the biggest visual themes within the video is mud . From what I can infer I believe that mud is employed to visually indicate the idea of being ‘unclean’ or ‘unworthy’ to the audience.

Mud can be seen as the dominant covering of the earth within the video. Though it is not expressed within the video, rain must have fallen in order for the mud to attain its form. Rain within literature is a symbol usually of foreboding somber times.

I believe that even though the rain is not seen within the video, it is still a reality that has occurred and also symbolizes the hurt, self-hatred, and actions of evil that have been committed against this individual. Just like the physical rain helped create the mud, the actions against this girl helped create her false identity of worthlessness.

At the beginning of the video the main character is spotless in appearance, but by the end of the video, she becomes physically trapped and swallowed by the filthy sediment. The deciding moment is seen when she grabs the mud and begins to paint herself with the substance, this could symbolize her finally accepting the identity that has been fed to her all this time.

From this moment on she begins to enter an rhythmic sequence of movement while words such as “dance” and “sing” appear around her, I still struggle to which this could symbolize; maybe you know the answer!

Though there are many more visual patterns included within this video and a plethora of lyrical references, I must begin to discuss the heart of the matter, the reason why I am writing this, the reason why you are reading this …

The societal constructs that plague our culture, especially those of young people, are slowly draining the ideas of love and service and replacing them with a ideology of pride and preservation. If this is not eliminated, our culture will become one deprived of the very glue that holds society together.

So how do we fix this critical issue within society?

First off we need to spread the awareness of the problem. If we do not show the gravity of these issues to others, then the problem does not exist in their minds.

Not only must we be afferent with our issues, but we must also be efferent. What I mean by this is that we must inherit a mindset of action along with our convictions to make notice the plague of fallacious self-image.

Contrary to the social constructs, we must demote ourselves as the least of these and sacrifice our temporal accolades in order to transform and possibly even save someone’s life. We must understand that loving someone is truly giving part of oneself to another; allowing someone to enter your temple and see the cracks within your foundations may reveal to them how valuable they truly are.

To those reading this right now who believe that they are of less value to others; to those who believe that your life is worthless; to those who wish to end it all, you are more precious and valuable than man can perceive. Do no be afraid to reach out. There are those who will help you. You are loved!

Love always wins.