“Only Love Can Hurt Like This” is the name of a Paloma Faith song I heard on the radio this morning as I was getting ready to head to the office. The lyrics got me thinking about love and relationships. About how song lyrics–like so many other things such as advertising and social network threads–can push us into thinking about love, about men, and about ourselves in an unhealthy way.
Sure, song lyrics are poetry and poetry can be beautiful. But here’s the thing… I love music, I love to dance, many of us do, but have you ever stopped to take note of what you’re actually singing along to?
The truth is, there are so many songs I love because I love the sound, the melody, and the beat. Yet very often the words of the song are a real concern. Here are a few lines from “Only Love Can Hurt Like This.”
Say I wouldn’t care if you walked away
But every time you’re there I’m begging you to stay
When you come close I just tremble
And every time, every time you go
It’s like a knife that cuts right through my soul
A psychologist would immediately tell you that what we have here is a very dysfunctional relationship. “But it’s poetry!” you’d say and you would be right. The thing is that when you read poetry, you focus on the words, you receive the message clearly, consciously. With songs, sometimes we assimilate the unhealthy message unconsciously.
And here’s another, a song about love… or is it about something else?
Just gonna stand there and watch me burn
But that’s alright, because I like the way it hurts
Just gonna stand there and hear me cry
But that’s alright, because I love the way you lie
I love the way you lie
Here’s the thing. There are songs that are seemingly about love but in fact, if you take a moment to actually think about the words you are singing along to, you realize that’s not love. Take the song I heard this morning – ‘Only Love Can Hurt Like This’ …
Imagine you’ve just broken up with someone that brought you more misery than joy, you’re feeling desperately sad and emotional about the breakup. You listen to this song, and then, heck you start feeling worse. You start thinking – I feel so bad, I must have loved him so much…
The truth is what you’re feeling could be: grieving the loss of the attachment you had, it may be infatuation, it may be the fantasy of how you hoped the relationship was going to be when deep down you always knew you were a mismatch. It may be another of a host of emotions that we so often mistake for love in real life as well.
But these are all legitimate emotions, aren’t they? Of course, they are. Just as the feeling of pain after you break up with someone you loved is a legitimate feeling – and grieving a relationship is a natural part of a breakup. This sadness, however, can become disproportionately great with the help of your favourite songs and the subconscious conditioning taking place.
Did you know that you can easily find a breakup playlist to listen to that caters to the broken-hearted? Of course, not all songs on these playlists, and not all sad love songs are necessarily unhealthy. The unhealthy effect, such as it is, would likely depend on your emotional state and how suggestive you are at the moment you listen to them, though not always.
So, here’s the thing. Creative expression is great. Music is great. And some music can lift your spirit and evoke a sense of magic to your mind, body, and soul. Yet, music can also brainwash you into a state of dis-ease. Most music we hear on mainstream radio is typically written by someone in a state of inner turmoil and deep emotional strain – sure, it can sound good, though don’t be fooled, the very music you think you love is probably implanting thoughts of doom and gloom into your psyche and mostly about love – the very thing you yearn for and value.
Have you ever caught yourself singing along to a song while driving, or getting ready for work, and even though you like the song, you had a conscious moment and realised how ridiculous and negative the words were? I have – this is what happened to me this morning when listing to ‘Only Love Can Hurt Like This’! I was singing along and thinking that I liked the song, BUT I then had a moment of awareness – instead of the words being catchy, they were blazingly morbid!
So my message to you is this: Be mindful of what messages you are allowing to be implanted into your beautiful mind, particularly about men, love, and relationships! Sure, even the healthiest relationships have their challenges, yet the best relationships are about unity, mutual support, learning and growing, and mindfulness – the best relationships are largely kind and connected!
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So, if you catch yourself singing along to doom and gloom then perhaps turn it off and listen to something more uplifting that’s pro-love and pro-life!