A man I love told me he does not love me.
It took him 5 years to stop loving me and he can not go back.
He says he “cares about me”, but these are the only words I really hear: DOES. NOT. LOVE.
From where I stand, this gap between “caring about” and “loving” is a vast un-navigable ocean.
I asked my friend, Carol, what she would do in this situation. She says she would pray to God to:
- Remove the wish or obsession
- Leave it if there is some other purpose for it
I am not a conventionally religious person. When I took a test to determine my character strengths, “Spirituality” was at the absolute bottom of my list of strengths. As far as beliefs go, I am wide open. I reject nothing, but am not attached to anything either. If I were a church, I would be the church of unknowable mysteries, loose boundaries and capriciously editable dogma.
I decide to give Carol’s system a try. I fold my hands in prayer like I did when I was a little girl in church school. I ask God to remove my love for this man or to leave it, if there is some other purpose.
This takes all of 5 seconds.
I stand up and I think to myself, “All I really want is someone to love.”
Another voice, perhaps the God voice, points out the obvious – I already have someone I love – the man who doesn’t love me.
Perhaps I did not ask for the right thing.
But maybe this is right. Although it is unrequited, I do have at least one someone to love. I am clearly capable of true and enduring love. My love for the man needs no answering call. It was forever engraved into my soft youthful heart and mind all those years ago. It has existed hidden, but rears up now and says, “See me. I am not going away.”
And in truth, I don’t take it personally that this guy doesn’t love me. I haven’t loved everyone who has loved me. All is fair in love and war.
Even better, I didn’t ask God to make this poor guy love me. I didn’t ask to be loved.
I asked to give love.
This seems like mature progress on the love front.
Don’t get me wrong. I love to be loved. But, at age 63, do I even have the right to more romantic love? Should there not be a limit? There is a time for every season after all. Is my season up?
These are the issues I am wrestling with. I battle with aging, the physical changes it brings and maintaining my self-esteem in the face of it all.
Sigh. It was all so much easier when I carried the bargaining card of youth and beauty.
Now, I have no card, but still a beating heart, a warm body, energy, enthusiasm – a surfeit of love. I see no end in sight for the longing of the delicious feelings of loving and being loved.