Healthy Love Songs part 4

I absolutely loved the songs that Teri, Natalie, and Tammy chose for their blogs this week.  They all give such great messages about love, and are wonderful reminders to us all in our relationships.  When I think of healthy love, the first thing I think of is someone emotionally safe, reliable, and trustworthy, who is there for you and you for them.  I think the song "Lean on Me" by Bill Withers incorporates the idea of love in many different ways.  Not just romantic love, but the love of friendship and family, as well: Sometimes in our lives we all have pain We all have sorrow But if we are wise We know that there's always tomorrow

Lean on me, when you're not strong And I'll be your friend I'll help you carry on For it won't be long 'Til I'm gonna need Somebody to lean on

Please swallow your pride If I have things you need to borrow For no one can fill those of your needs That you don't let show

Lean on me, when you're not strong And I'll be your friend I'll help you carry on For it won't be long 'Til I'm gonna need Somebody to lean on

If there is a load you have to bear That you can't carry I'm right up the road I'll share your load If you just call me

So just call on me brother, when you need a hand We all need somebody to lean on I just might have a problem that you'd understand We all need somebody to lean on

Lean on me when you're not strong And I'll be your friend I'll help you carry on For it won't be long Till I'm gonna need Somebody to lean on

Lean on me...

There are so many great parts of this song!  The first thing I think of when reading or hearing these lyrics is how important friendship is to our romantic relationships.  It truly is the foundation of everything, and what creates trust, passion and connection.  Without being friends, it's hard to feel deeper love.  We do all have sorrow and pain in life, and sometimes we are too afraid or ashamed to let someone see we are hurting.  The first verse is a great reminder to us of how important it is to be real with those we love, keeping faith that things will be alright (If we are wise, we know there's always tomorrow) and trusting in ourselves (and those we love) when things aren't going so well.  It's so easy sometimes to try and be "strong" through things where we really need help and support.  The main verse of this song keeps us in check that when we are there for others, and give of ourselves (not inappropriately or rescuing, but with healthy boundaries), there will always be a time where we need them to lean on as well.  We don't need others to take our pain away.  Generally, I think most of us just need to know someone is there to share our experience.  The verse that stands out the most to me, however, is where it talks about swallowing your pride, being vulnerable, and asking for what you need: For no one can fill those of your needs that you don't let show.  Many things can be destructive to love and relationships, but expecting someone to know what you need or how you feel without telling them is one of the most damaging. This verse encourages being open about what you need, even if it feels shameful to do so.  Have you ever been hurting about something you feel incredibly ashamed or embarrassed about, only to take the risk of sharing it with someone and having them actually relate to what you are going through?  The line: I just might have a problem that you'd understand, is another great reminder that in healthy relationships, sometimes the risk of sharing brings more understanding than we ever imagined- much better than keeping it bottled up and it coming out in other ways!

So, what songs have you heard this week that symbolize healthy love?  I'm sure you have probably heard quite a few!  Stay tuned for next weeks blog topic-- one we see quite a bit of in our office:  Addictions.  For the next two weeks, we will cover the different types of addictions and how you can tell if a behavior you or a loved one has is addiction based.  Thank you for joining us... See you next week!

Joleen Watson, MS, NCC, is a therapist at Imagine Hope Counseling Group. She enjoys doing marriage counseling, relationship counseling, couples counseling, and individual counseling.  Imagine Hope also specializes in family, child and adolescent counseling and serves Indianapolis area including the surrounding areas of Carmel, Noblesville, Zionsville, Westfield, and Fishers.