Ever since I was a child, lighthouses have always been enchanting for me. My grandfather made small lighthouses out of rocks he had collected and polished; they were amazing. As a teenager I had one entire wall in my bedroom dedicated to pictures of lighthouses. I was a little obsessed with lighthouses.
I have always thought of the lighthouse as being a symbolic beacon of hope, guiding people to a safe place and steering them away from danger. As a couple’s counselor I have always thought of myself as being a lighthouse and helping couples have hope that they can navigate through their problems and make it to a better place in their relationship.
The other day I was listening to one of my favorite folk artists, Antje Duvekot. I was listening to her song “Lighthouse” from her album The Near Demise of the High Wire Dancer. Here are the lyrics from the beginning of the song:
You, you’re not the first to ask
And probably not the last
And I don’t expect you to understand
Why I stayed upon that rock
After the birds had gone
And all of the waves turned to sand
But, I am a lighthouse
In a desert and I stand alone
I dream of an ocean that was here a long time ago
And I remember his cool waters and I still glow.
As I listened to this song, I had a realization that the lighthouse can also represent the partner who is trying hard to hold the relationship together when it feels like all hope is lost. By not giving up this partner is saying “I am a lighthouse in a desert, and I stand alone. I dream of an ocean that was here a long time ago and I remember his [or her] cool waters and I still glow.”
In my mind the “ocean” and the “lighthouse” can represents both partners. Each is both the lighthouse and in the ocean. The partner in the ocean needs the lighthouse and the partner in lighthouse needs the ocean. Each partner being willing to accept influence (lighthouse) from the other partner that helps lead him or her to safety.
The demands and difficulties of daily life and well as anger, hurt, and resentment can cause the Ocean to recede. It is especially during these times when each partner needs to continue to be a lighthouse and continue to try to be an influence on the one who is in the ocean caught in the storms of life.
If you would like to learn how to be a lighthouse, and learn to accept influence from the lighthouse, in your relationship contact Boyle Counseling and Consultation at our Sandy office in Salt Lake County.