The Heart of the Matter

Theme of the Week –


Song of the Week –

"The Heart of the Matter" by Don Henley 

Song Therapeutics Analysis-

Good Sunday Evening Songtherapeutics Friends!

This classic song by Don Henley from the Eagles, focuses on the universal theme of forgiveness.  I find Henley’s song an unforgettable beauty with lyrics so full of emotional depth and tenderness, which involves eventually coming to forgive a love that has left him behind.  Learning to truly forgive can in fact be a challenging process indeed, and, not often easily understood.  Besides a giving, open heart & perspective, it requires will and determination as you come to really grasp the true meaning and implications that involve forgiveness.

At some point in your life, you have probably been hurt by someone.  The level and intensity can vary with each specific situation, but one thing is true.  When people hurt you to the core, for whatever reason, it can suddenly change your whole perspective of how you view them.  Some may say it’s simply a matter of losing trust and respect, but more so, your general attitude towards them in whole, shifts dramatically.  So we ask, can the hurtful, wounding actions of others help you to see them clearer, for who they really are?  Yes, this most definitely can occur.  In fact, this can be a helpful personal discovery which can open your eyes and be a powerful reality check for you going forward.  However, in a more pro-active way, we may need to look at forgiveness from another vantage point, from a different, more open minded lens.  View it as a form of individual awareness and beneficial enlightenment, which, should actually be welcomed and appreciated in the long run.

It is important you come to realize that you need to forgive especially, for you.  This is where the act of forgiving others becomes visible and makes sense to you, as you try to remain at your best in terms of positivity.  Forgiveness is definitely an act of kindness, compassion, and giving, that we decide to grant others.  But, when we begin to think more deeply about it, we need to let it go primarily, for us.  In life, people are often reluctant to forgive because they may harbor pent up anger or resentment.  Those feelings can be intense and very difficult to extinguish, yet, are quite unhealthy for you to hold onto.  We need to change our entire view of the forgiveness process and also begin to see it as a gift you give yourself.  The potential benefits of this mindset for our emotional health and well being are obvious.  Who doesn’t want to cleanse themselves from negativity and painful thoughts and memories?  What is the benefit for you in hanging on to these negative feelings and going forward carrying them? Life can be difficult enough without adding to the mix.  Thus, we essentially need to unburden this baggage ourselves, simply through the process of forgiving.

In addition, it is always helpful we take some time to self reflect afterwards about the situation and circumstances, as well as the person who has hurt you.  This is not making excuses for their behavior, but instead, taking in consideration what may be going on with them internally, what struggles they may actually be going through.  We are all human, we are all experienced and capable of making mistakes, bad judgement calls, and hurtful actions towards others.  Decisions are made that we regret and are remorseful for afterwards.  But, we do know that life has to continue for the best in spite of hurtful people, disappointments, hardships, or losses we endure in life.  And especially, we learn and subsequently take away important  lessons from these experiences we undergo.  Is forgiveness realistically possible for you to give presently, or consider for the future?  Have you been successful truly forgiving people in your past?  These questions and answers are very personal and have to be assessed individually, but, what you discover may assist you in determining your ultimate choice here.

Part of true forgiveness also involves acceptance.  The two go hand in hand as you cannot realistically have one, without the other.  To forgive is to accept as well.  Forgiveness and acceptance together can create a sense of peace and contentment within yourself.  Forgiveness does not need to be an end product of anything negative that resembles revenge, getting even, settling the score, but more, the heart saying it’s time to finally, let it go.  Forgiveness may involve accepting things you may not be happy with, but you basically discover, they are what they are, and you may never be able to change them.  Whatever happened which warrants you providing genuine forgiveness to someone, may end up being well worth it for you, as well as for them.  Compare it to when you take a deep breath, close your eyes and slowly exhale.  You have the opportunity to rid yourself of the negativity that can never do you good.  Forgiveness can provide you that needed breath of fresh air, a new outlook, a clean slate with a new perspective to start over with a renewed and hopeful attitude for the future.  It is well within your reach.

Takeaway Thought for the Week Ahead -

Takeaway positive thoughts empower you, give you strength, make you believe. Here is yours for the week. Say it, several times a day, every day, memorize it, write it down or put it in your phone. During the week, think about it, rely on it as you make it your own.

Forgiveness should be considered a meaningful gift you give others, but more important, it is truly a gift you give yourself.  To let go of any lingering negativity you may harbor, in the effort to focus on rebuilding and self-resilency.  With forgiveness comes acceptance of what has happened, no matter how hurtful, learning what you need to from the experience, and the inner peace/contentment that results as you go forward with your positive journey.  

I cannot stress enough, the tremendous power of affirmative positive thinking in life. Positive self-talk and empowering beliefs over time can seriously help us change the way we think about ourselves. Like the well known term, “Self-Fulfilling Prophecy”, if we come to believe and act on it, it can become part of who you are, and what you want to be.

With "The Heart of the Matter" available to be on your personal playlist, it will be ready when you want to listen to it’s significant message!! Use it going forward!

Mindfulness & The Music/Questions to Ask Yourself & Self-Reflect -

After listening to the song, take some time and give these questions some serious thought. Your answers here will reveal a great deal to you going forward. Use this opportunity for helpful self reflection…

How do you personally feel about the process of forgiveness? Do you view it honestly in a positive or negative way? Why?

Is forgiving others generally easy for you? Why is that?

Did you grow up in a family environment that encouraged and promoted the act of forgiveness?

If forgiveness is not easy for you, why do you think that is?

Are there specific situations and/or circumstances where you feel you absolutely cannot forgive?

Have you received forgiveness from someone? If so, describe how that makes you feel.

If you have not received forgiveness, why do you feel that happened?

What do you feel you need to do concerning your ability to forgive? Do you need to change your viewpoint going forward?


Recommended Reading for the Week About Music & Song

“Music’s Power Explained” by Ralph Ryback M.D.,, January 19th, 2016

-For additional reading resources click here Readings


The Songtherapeutics website provides a weekly interpretation of various song lyrics. The interpretations reflect solely Songtherapeutics’ views, not necessarily the composer’s views. The Songtherapeutics website is intended to provide a source of general information to individuals for educational purposes. Although some individuals may find the information to be thought provoking and enlightening, and some lyric interpretations may assist some individuals with self awareness, self-discovery and comfort, the website is not intended to provide, nor does it provide, specific advice or guidance to any individual. It is not intended to address, nor does it address, any specific individual’s circumstances or condition. The Songtherapeutics website is not intended to furnish, nor does it furnish, professional psychotherapy or counseling, or furnish medical, legal , spiritual, or any other form of professional counseling therapy. The Songtherapeutics website is not, nor is it it intended to be, a substitute or replacement for psychological therapeutic intervention for any individual. No therapist/client relationship or counseling relationship is intended to be formed or is being formed with any individual visiting this website. Anyone sensing that they could benefit from consulting with or establishing a relationship with a therapist, social worker, psychologist, or psychiatrist for his or her specific needs should do so as their personal decision. No individual should disregard the advice of his or her therapist, or delay seeking any form of professional therapy, on the basis of any information or lyric interpretation presented on the Songtherapeutics website.