Jennifer Nettles just released a brand-new single, "I Can Do Hard Things." Nettles shared the song, along with an accompanying essay, addressing the hardships women face, and the strength that rises up in them as a result.
"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," Nettles said in an essay posted on Medium. "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," she added, "I came to see that we live in the 'in between,' in the grey, and that sometimes things can be both happy AND sad."
"I Can Do Hard Things," which includes lyrics such as, "I can laugh, I can love, I can dream / I can do hard things," was inspired in part by a book she read that in many ways raised up a battle cry of sorts inside Nettles.
"As women we are taught that we must do it all and act like we like doing it all," Nettles explained. "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 co-existence 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," she continued. "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."
After Nettles read Love Warrior, she felt compelled to put her thoughts to the place she felt most comfortable – her music.
"I read those words and I saw every woman's story," Nettles said. "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."
Download or stream "I Can Do Hard Things," at her official website.
Photo Credit: Getty / Jason Kempin