Spoken word artist Adam Roa’s powerful poem “You are who you’ve been looking for,” speaks to all of us in the common language we talk to ourselves in everyday and puts happiness back into the hands of the individual.
What if you are who you’ve been looking for?
Spoken word artist, Adam Roa, took the stage at transformational comedian, Kyle Cease’s event in LA called “Evolving Out Loud” where he shared his spoken word piece “You are who you’ve been looking for” with 1,400 people. When the video made it into social media feeds in late October 2017, the content went viral in 5 days. While there is a known formula out there for video virality, this particular video’s message held the key to thousands of shares and a new conversation around fulfillment and happiness.
“You are who you’ve been looking for,” by Adam Roa
You are who you’ve been looking for.
So stop looking for more unless you are looking in the mirror
because it is about time for you to see clearly that:
You are who you’ve been looking for.
And that empty feeling you got,
that hole in your chest
you only got that feeling because you think you are not blessed
with everything you need.
You see we live in a consumerist society
which means they need you to buy stuff
and the easiest way to sell it is to tell you
‘You are not enough’.
Buy this car, you will get girls.
Buy the bra, you will get guys.
And we are seeing is so much that we start believing these lies.
But the truth is:
the makeup they are selling to make you feel prettier
is the same makeup you buy to stop feeling shittier
about this lie
they keep telling you
that ‘You are not enough’.
And what about the movies we watch or the shows on TV
The more I watch the more I see
‘I need you to complete me’.
And yes, love is the answer, love is the key
but if you can’t love yourself
how could you ever love me.
And loving yourself what does that even mean
like massages and selfies and that sort of thing?
Because the more I think about it the more it feels weird,
I was always been taught that self-love is something to be feared.
I’ve been taught that arrogance is bad
and vanity, it’s not good.
And even my bracelets are telling me to act like Jesus would.
So what should I do?
How should I act?
I am supposed to love myself
but how do I even do that?
Well, I got a trick that I pick up from a friend.
Who noticed that I was quick to defend
when she would say something negative about herself.
She would say ‘I am so dumb’
and I would say ‘You are so brilliant’
She would say ‘I am so weak’
and I would say ‘You are so resilient’
And when she said ‘I feel ugly’
and I said ‘You look beautiful’,
she asked me why I was so dutiful
filling up her cup constantly
and yet treating my own cup so irresponsibly.
Because when I looked in the mirror my voice was quite clear
“You are ugly, you are too thin, your hairlines receding, you got a pimple on your chin”
And that was when
she gave me a piece of advice that changed my life:
She gave me a hug and she said
‘Treat yourself like someone you loved’
Treat yourself like someone you loved.
Now, I’ve been standing but I needed to be sitting
because I couldn’t believe that I had been letting
myself keep forgetting
that I was who I’ve been looking for.
And deep in my core I knew it was time to stop looking for more
until I could look through all my fear
and look into a mirror and see clearly
that the man looking back at me
was the only one who can make me happy,
and I am already enough.
And I am not any more special or unique than you
that is why I am here to speak to you
‘You are already enough’.
And when you start to see that you will start to be that.
Your world will get brighter, your load will get lighter
and you see that with life you can be a lover and not a fighter.
And that life…
you deserve it.
Because you are worth it.
And there is no point in letting yourself keep forgetting because no matter
what you say or do:
‘You are perfect’.
As of today I hope I leave you with a direction correction
away from the flaws you see in our reflection.
They aren’t flaws to me they are simply protection
against all the doubts you have of your perfection.
So start today,
take a good long look in the mirror and say
‘I am who I’ve been looking for’
Three Reasons Why Everyone Is Talking About This Spoken Word Piece
What was so compelling about this piece?
- It puts happiness back into the hands of the individual.
The piece touches on the everyday insecurities relatable to everyone that are bread through the media, consumerism, marketing, Hollywood, and many other avenues telling each of us in one way or another that each of us “needs” something outside of ourselves to be happy. Adam is not telling the audience what they “need to do” but rather, reminding them that they already have everything they will ever need to find fulfillment. We are in a time now where it is becoming more socially acceptable to find fulfillment internally, through things like yoga or meditation, which makes the timing of it a bit more receptive to the general public.
- It’s written in the common language we talk to ourselves in everyday
Often, we think about larger picture ideas in the same context, the larger picture. In this piece, Adam Roa takes the opposite approach and speaks from and about the little moments people have each day that don’t make it to the social media accounts. I believe this is key in the video’s virality, because these are the most relatable times, since everyone knows what it’s like to brush your teeth, get dressed, commute, and so on. And he takes those relatable times, and creates the piece from not the physical voice, but the voice that everyone hears throughout their day in their head.
- The message is crafted for the individual viewer
One aspect of the piece that I noticed immediately upon viewing was that the focus of it’s entirety was written to speak directly to the individual listener. This creates a deeper intimacy in the conversation, and allows the viewer to feel a strong connection to the call to action, which is that you already are enough.
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