“Too many times we fall so in love with the idea of what we want, that we don’t even realize they aren’t capable of giving it to us.”
He always told me that he loved me, it wasn’t until it was much too late that I realized it was not enough.
His love was not what I needed to nurture me and to allow me to grow. It was a smothering type of love that was too afraid to support me in discovering me. That discovery would be too threatening, and smothering was his way of showing his need for me to be only for him. To be only his and be only for me could not and did not exist in his world. His love was not enough.
His love was isolating. He kept me to himself, and put me in a tower that only he had access to. If there were no others, then I could love only him. No family, no friends, no anybody…just the two of us. Not in the Bill Withers sort of way, but then again maybe it was just like Bill, just the two of us, building castles in the sky, just the two of us, you and I. Isolating indeed. It was not enough.
His love was the type of love that he knew how to give. Where ever he learned how to love, however he learned to love, and whatever he learned to love is how he loved me. He always told me that I did not understand how much he loved me, and he was right, I didn’t, because all I saw was that it was not the love that I needed. Yet, it was the only love that he knew and it was not enough.
Many times people come into our lives, and they offer us the best that they know how to give, but that is not good enough for how we need to survive. We continue to ask people to love us, hold us, pray for us, and to do for us in a particular way without realizing that just maybe, the very one that we love is not capable of giving us what we need. Through no fault of their own, they are not able to love, hold, give, pray for us how we need it to be. It is not their fault that they can’t, maybe it is our fault we continue to ask.
The question then becomes why are we settling for something and someone that just can’t do what we need them to do? Why do we think that there is some flaw in us when a person can’t provide what we have determined is a “non-negotiable” in life? Is there a time when you recognize that there is no amount of education, modeling behavior, yelling, shouting, and loving that will get you what you desire from that person?
There are some people that can’t learn a skill. I will never be good at painting the edges of a wall. I do a great job with the center of a room, but the edges, window sill and door frame, will come out looking like a 5-year old did it. Now if you can live with a painter who can only do the middle of a room, then hire me, I’m your girl. But if the edges are important to you, I am not the one you need.
Many times we think we can live with just the center of the room painted. If we cover up the door with beads, put long curtains on the window and dim the lights no one will be the wiser. But you will know. You will know that it is not a good paint job. It is not that the center of the room isn’t great, it may be the greatest center of the room paint job in the world, but it is not the paint job for you. I am not capable of getting a straight edge, and you should not have to live with a sloppy corner.
There is no sin or crime committed when you have to walk away. The sin comes when you continually ask someone to do something that you know they can’t do and the crime is that you continue to expect them to do it differently. They don’t have the skill to do, don’t want to learn to do, don’t know how to do, and literally can’t do what you need them to do. Both of you suffer when that becomes the everyday issue, the pain of loving someone who doesn’t seem to love you back.
When we realize that there is no one to blame and accept each other for what we have to offer and what we have to give, then we can truly love each other. And that love will allow us to stop asking for what we won’t get, accept what we can get, and leave when we realize that it is just not enough.
His love wasn’t enough for me, and I am pretty sure that mine was not good enough for him either…