The chorus to the song “I can’t make you love me” sung by various artists, most recently Tank, ran round my head all weekend for several reasons.
I can’t make you love me if you don’t. I can’t make your heart feel something it won’t. Here in the dark, in these final hours I will lay down my heart and I’ll feel the power; but you won’t. No you won’t cuz’ I can’t make you love me if you don’t.
These words say a lot about my relationships yesterday and today. They take me on a trip back down memory lane to how I’ve spent my time trying to force relationships to be all that I wanted them to be instead of accepting them for what they were and just being thankful that I got what I did instead of what I longed for to the present where I find myself once again (in a different way) wanting from someone something I can’t have but long for.
And then again it was brought to my attention as I watched my son and his girlfriend this weekend go through changes in their relationship that I can relate to. I see what they are going through and want to share the wisdom that I have accumulated over the years to help them navigate through this rough time they are going through and with a baby involved nonetheless, yet feel inadequate in my ability to do so because it is still something I continue to struggle with.
Through the years I have learned that love is more an action verb than a noun. It is not passive and it requires a lot of work. It is also a choice and when someone chooses to stop loving another individual essentially unless they change their mind there isn’t much you can do except accept their decision and pray. Pray that in time they will change their mind or that God will intercede and things will work themselves out if that is His plan for your life and that if it is not in His will that you will be free to move on from the emotions that envelope you and make you long for that which is not for you.
But being the carnal creatures that we are a lot of us will go through great lengths to coerce the other party into loving us to the detriment of ourselves and others involved. Girls end up pregnant and men stalk women and both get crazed out of their minds in an attempt to force a relationship that just isn’t there any longer and perhaps never really was. This is where you determine whether or not it was love or lust; a passing fancy or the real deal.
I have learned that love isn’t just about feelings because they do wane after a while. It should be based on a much stronger foundation. Friendship is the true basis of a loving relationship. When there is friendship first there is something to fall back on as time passes, the emotions die down and the hustle and bustle of life interjects itself into the equation.
Love is also about forgiveness and sacrifice. Sometimes we have to forgive those that we love because they will inevitably do something to hurt us intentional or not for we are all human and fall short at one time or another. Sacrifice comes into play when we have to give of ourselves and sometimes get nothing in return but that too is ok because in the end it all works itself out. I am guilty of not doing either in some of my past relationships and as a result they ceased to function and died.
Hindsight is a wonderful thing if we can take the lessons learned and bring them forward and apply them to our current and future situations. As for right now, I am torn between wanting someone to love me the way I want/need to be loved and accepting the friendship that is being offered.
Accepting the friendship is the right thing to do but the void that has been there all my life waiting to be filled will still be there. I know it is a void that only God can fill but until I heal this relationship with Him and allow it to progress to what it should be it will remain.
Funny how I know the answer; I know what needs to be done but I resist because I want what I want instead of what is the appropriate thing. There are other forces at work that make this a difficult choice. Satan knows what I’m longing for and he’s dangling it in front of me. Making me desire it more than what I really truly need (temptation) and I have to resist and be stronger than the enemy at this time.
So instead of trying to take matters into my own hands I need to look to the One that already has it worked out according to His will. Oh what a hard lesson that is to learn.
In the meantime, as these words ruminate in my mind a little while longer hopefully I will find new meaning in them instead of the sadness and longing they currently instill.