I Don’t Have To Love You

Older Americans complain about the aging process frequently. I sort of enjoy it most days. One of the things I like best is how much clearer my view of  life is now and how much better I understand it.

I’ve always loved with my whole heart and soul. I foolishly thought if I loved someone that much, they must be very special and everything would be all right. I’ve learned better. Sometimes I’ve loved people who have turned out to be lying to me, or using me, and it took awhile to figure it out.

I try to be honest in my dealings with other people. I have thought that my honesty might have been one of my defects that gave the other person more access to my heart and soul. I opened myself up for manipulation perhaps at times.

My heart has been broken many times. One time I thought it was broken so badly that I’d never find all the pieces and put it back together, but then I saw my children watching and knew that I had to find a way . . . .

So my heart is back in one piece, more or less, but I am very, very careful who gets a spot in it. My pendulum of caring may have swung too far in the other direction, but it will eventually righten itself.

I don’t know why when someone stands before you and you know they love you, that you would use that love to manipulate and take advantage of them. Many do just that. I don’t know if it’s because they feel unworthy of the love, or because they’re just mean, lying, scheming people who can’t imagine that anything they’d do would cause you to quit loving them.

They’re wrong. I’ve quit loving many people that I loved in the past. I hope they’ve noticed, but if they haven’t, it doesn’t matter to me. They don’t matter to me. Yes, my niece, and others, to whom I would have given my last whatever it was she said she needed . . . now have zero access to my heart. You have no idea what she’s capable of. I do.

She’s not the only one. She’s just one of the worst ones.

They say everyone you meet is either a blessing or a lesson. I learned a lot from her betrayal and . . . I don’t even know the word for someone who does what she did. Unloveable comes to mind.

I don’t have to love you. I don’t have to love anyone. My birthday is tomorrow and that’s one of the biggest lessons I’ve learned in this lifetime. It took almost a lifetime to figure it out. My love is a gift. If you mistreat it, I’ll just keep it for myself. I need love too.

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