I’m Good…?

You know what makes life and restaurants so similar? People come and go, but aren’t always satisfied. Someone might come in looking for a steak, and find it undercooked. The tablecloths might be dirty, or maybe the atmosphere isn’t what they expected. Either way, dissatisfaction is usually one-sided. Which is weird in real life, given that relationships are two-way streets. Or at least, they should be. Life Is a shared path, and the people we walk alongside tend to either help or hinder our journey. Sometimes they even do both.

One facet of KPOP culture I absolutely love is the ability to subvert genre expectations. What I mean is that sad songs often sound happy, and that poppy, energy-infused songs tend to hide somber meanings. From Happy (2NE1) to Sleep Tight (Kisum), KPOP sees music as a playground, and takes full advantage of that. Like I always do in these intros, today I’m pointing us in the direction of I’m Good, a new song by the Korean-Canadian artist Henry.

Feeling a lot like that chill older-bro type friend, Henry’s song feels very wistful, yet progressive. Stepping into his shoes with each verse, you get the feeling that his previous relationship wasn’t the most beneficial:

Everything is better
I’ll do what I want, I’ll do what I want
It’s alright, alright
I don’t even need you
I’ll do what I want, I’ll do what I want
It’s alright, alright
I don’t even need you

Like a smug kid, Henry’s bounceback focuses a lot on what he can do without his former significant other. At first it seems really juvenile, immature even, with verses like:

When I’m at places we’ve been to together, I think of something else
I look at other girls and smile brightly
You’re doing well? What can you do
Now you wanna comeback
But I ain’t got no time for that

Ending on a good note seems to be the least of Henry’s worries, as it’s like he’s almost gloating. “You have no more meaning to me” is the mantra we read between these lines. He’s disconnected, unattached. Why? Wasn’t there love…?

I’m all good, I’m free from that prison
Without you, I’m having fun
I’m all good, I’m free from that prison
Without you
I ain’t got no problem

The response of I’m Good exposes a few things about relationships of all kinds. For one, it’s easy to let the act of having a relationship distract you from being in that relationship. In other words, being only part of the ride isn’t enough. One person isn’t enough to drive a relationship: your goals need to be the same. Henry’s describes his past relationship as a prison, and is glad to be free because he can now explore who he really is. He’s not just experiencing relationships, he’s creating, participating, and enjoying them.

In my life, this kind of “missing-the-forest-for-the-trees” perspective always tends to creep up on me when I least expect it. I enjoy knowing that I know a lot of people, but actually being there for them is hard! Yet I seem to find no problem in complaining when I feel neglected. Call me Two-Face, because split personas seem to be the name of the game when it comes to relating to other people. I want to love, I want to care and show my concern, yet it’s so much easier to find other things to do when I get that text or realize I forgot someone.

The Apostle Paul echos something similar when he writes “the good that I want, I do not do, but I practice the very evil that I do not want” (Rom 7:19). I don’t want to get caught in relationships that hurt me; I want to thrive and grow alongside others, but it’s hard to be there. Especially when I feel like I’m doing all the work. What’s a guy to do?

Relationships are like cake. To make one, you need the right ingredients. Time, love, patience, selflessness, etc. Keeping each of these balanced against the others is difficult, even more so as believers. Yet like cake, when we focus on what we want the relationship to look like, getting there becomes a matter of prioritization. You can’t have cheesecake without cream cheese, after all. Healthy relationships need clear goals in order for both sides to know how to contribute. Just like I can’t expect a box of yellow cake mix to give me marble cake, going into a relationship with different expectations often leaves both people dissatisfied with the mess they’re left with.

Far too often in a relationship, I find myself asking questions about my share. What am I doing? How am I reacting? Can I help them? Yet by keeping my focus on my side, I neglect to see how they affect me, and what their true needs might be. It’s entirely possible to be so focused on the act of helping that you neglect to help at all, which is why healthy relationships require so much maintenance. Consistent reevaluation of what’s going on, and what the people involved need. The key to all of this, is Jesus.

Jesus’ example in all of His relationships is very straightforward. He has a mission: to point people to His Father. Along the way He gets to know them: He gets down to their level and expresses a real, deep, invested love for them. Yet He never goes as far as to compromise His principles or forget who He is in an attempt to either give to them or take from them. His balance, His focal point, is in who He is.

So it is for us as believers. We love God first, and by extension we love others. Selflessly. Focusing on what we can give, and also on what we both gain. Sometimes it works. Sometimes, like in the case of Henry, it doesn’t. Even so, we aren’t without hope. People come and people go, but our God stays the same. With that in mind, no matter what happens, we can always say “I’m Good”. 

Sam

I'm a student who loves God and manages to balance school, games, books, anime, and Asian culture while staying slightly sane.

  • Ιωήλ

    I jusr found this blog today and I’m so glad that I found another Christian student that likes books, anime and Kpop. God may bless you, I’ll be regularly visiting this blog from now on.

    • Aww! Thanks for the kind words. It means so much to me that you find enjoyment and encouragement through Unsheathed. Lord willing, I’ll be here writing and thinking for a long time. Thanks for being part of the community. 🙂