“It’s all yours,” she used to say. Over and over, every time she’d volunteer that tidbit about how every little thing I liked about her was all mine. Until one day, it wasn’t. Of course by then I’d digressed in my love to see and believe her to be mine, as if I was somehow her owner. Looking back, I can only surmise how misguided or uninformed I truly was in my blissfully unaware state of “love.” Or maybe not?
Fast forward months later and I am arguing these finer points with a new woman I am seeing. It boiled down to my feeling stifled at her seeming wanton desire, whether intended or unbeknownst, to plan or control every little detail of our situationship. I wanted to let things lie where they fall and not get obsessed with the specifics. As she argued the necessity of having and following a plan, I found it all too familiar. I tried to explain: I had decided months prior to ever meeting her to stop my incorrigible trend of over-planning, well, everything, and step back from my plans and actually experience and enjoy them, taking things as they come. That’s when I heard it from her:
“Well, that’s just not what I like or want with MY man. I want to take care of MY man and I feel more comfortable sticking to MY plan.”
That summed up the control issue, the fight, and the relationship. She wanted me as her possession and not as my own person. Not literally, of course, but it is how I felt then. So I sufficiently wrapped things up and left her with my newfound truism.
Why is it that we often seek to possess what we love? How often have we each done it? We see something, we fall in love, and we have to make it ours. A man, a woman, a house, a car, a dress…well you get the idea. It’s in our thoughts, in our language, and in our actions; we just don’t always notice it.
To love should not be to possess. It’s not about how that person is ours, or some competitive angle that we know or deserve them more than another person because of our past together. We should accept that we cannot and should not possess over the people we love. I think fear inhibits us from doing this. Fear of losing something and someone that we never really owned to begin with. Of course we want to protect those we love, but at the cost of their happiness and ultimately ours just so we can feel the security that comes from this false sense of ownership?
We should let them go, allow them to be free to make the decisions they feel will bring them the most happiness. After all, doesn’t happiness matter more in life than possession? Isn’t that what we truly seek and hope for? It’s true they may not choose us, and it sucks when that happens, God do I know that. But in the end, it’s healthier for us because it enables us to love more freely.