P!nk's "The Great Escape" and Escapism in our culture

Image Source: Snapshot from performance video linked below

P!nk Performance:

P!nk Lyrics Video:

P!nk Interview:

An ode to P!nk: This is probably the first of many blog posts I will write about P!nk, as she has been a very influential artist in my life. While I was in college, I had a friend watch how P!nk was inspiring me to grow from a delicate wallflower into a more outgoing, assertive human being. In moments where I was particularly showing my newfound assertiveness, she would tell me “Your P!nk is showing!”. Of course I took it as a compliment!

Beyond her social activism, badass performing skills (seriously, have you ever seen her do silks or other acrobatic work? Incredible!) and her sense of humor, what I love so much about P!nk is her ability to put both enormous confidence and vast vulnerability into her music. I could really go on a huge rant about so many of her songs that move me, but today I want to focus on sharing “The Great Escape” off of her “The Truth About Love” album. The song talks about our culture of escapism through substances, and P!nk calling out that escapism with a call to be present with our emotions. I linked a live performance (4 mins) of “The Great Escape”, and a lyric video as well. I also linked a short interview she did (3 mins) where she talks about the artistry and meaning behind the song. This song is a great example of how P!nk channels her ups and downs in life in her craft of songwriting, singing, and performing. She says in the interview “I need my highs and lows” for her craft, but sometimes our highs and lows can be a lot to handle. So how do we manage or make them work for us?

As a society we use so many different mediums to escape from, run from, or shut down our problems. Some of them harmful- drugs, alcohol, sex, unhealthy eating habits, self harm, escaping into work, focusing on someone else’s problem in order to avoid looking at our own, among others. While these things may be harming us, it’s important to acknowledge they also can serve as our survival mechanisms for today, this hour, this moment. Maybe it was the best we knew how to do in the moment, and either self-blame or blaming our loved ones for using theses things to escape can be even more damaging. But it’s also important to acknowledge with love and kindness that these things are counterproductive for long term healing and current safety.

The emotions that once led you to make “the great escape” can fuel some of your biggest accomplishments. Channeling your anger into exercise, channeling your sadness into art, channeling your trauma into helping others overcome similar traumas, channeling frustration into comedy, channeling your depression into beautiful poetry, channeling your anxiety into achieving. These ideas really just scratch the surface; there are so many ways out there to help you with your struggles or ways to help make your emotions your friends. Finding your preferred modes of channeling is a major step in healing.

Healing doesn’t mean never feeling these uncomfortable emotions like anger or sadness, but rather improving your ability to “ride the wave” while respecting yourself and others in the process. And it’s completely okay for this process to come in baby steps, too. You may not go from your own “great escape” to channeling them in such a raw, authentic way like P!nk does overnight, but you can get there! One step at a time. One day, hour or minute at a time.

So two questions for YOU to think about now: How can you channel what you are feeling into something you’ll be proud of? What is stopping you from channeling your feelings in a healthy way?

Maybe these aren’t easy questions to answer, and if you are having trouble with them, I would love to help you to find the answers. Self discovery and healing takes time, but it can be an enjoyable process and I’d love to be there for you through it! And if you’re also a P!nk fan, I’d love to gush about her with you sometime!

Love and P!nk,