It is commonly believed that if you love and respect a person, you should allow them a certain amount of privilege. While on the other hand, there’s also the old adage, “If you give someone an inch, they’ll take a mile.” The “experts” say that there should be a balance. They say that you should allow your partner some freedom, but not too much. But who’s to say what is too much? After all, a little bit can go a long way.
So how do I approach this matter? Well, I never give my partner permission to do anything. I don’t allow her any privileges. I don’t give her any freedom. And this might at first seem selfish and tyrannical. But here’s the truth of the situation.
I don’t give my partner permission, because she doesn’t need my permission. She doesn’t belong to me. She’s not my property. I don’t own her.
I don’t allow her privileges, because, as a unique spirit soul she was created with certain inalienable rights. It’s not up to me to decide in what way she exerts those rights.
I don’t give her any freedom, because it isn’t mine to give. She’s already free, whether or not she realizes it. And I can never truly take that away from her, no matter how much I might try.
The only reason we try so hard to control our partners, to limit their freedom, is because deep down we know that they are completely free. And this frightens us. It frightens us because we’re afraid that if they discover their own innate freedom, if they begin to exercise it, they might leave us. So we try to put them in a cage to keep them from escaping. And we’re even willing to forfeit our own freedom in order to bargain for their captivity.
But I’m not afraid that my partner might leave. And I’m well aware that with the freedom she has she could leave at any time. But I also know that if I accept her freedom to leave, then I also accept her freedom to remain with me. And better she remains with me by her own free choice, than out of any sense of obligation. Because love is not about obligation. It is about freedom.
We think that if we tie our partner down, and place upon them restrictions and obligations, we are securing their companionship. But this is all an illusion, because if they truly want to leave, they always have that freedom, and we cannot stop them. In fact, the more we try to cage them in, the more they will yearn for that freedom. The more they will seek to exert it.
I’m not afraid that my partner might leave, because I know that if she does not appreciate the time and energy I share with her, then she is not deserving of it. And I know that what I deserve is someone who truly appreciates and accepts me just as I am.
I’m not afraid that my partner might leave, because I know that if she doesn’t genuinely want to share her time and energy with me, then she is not worth my time and energy either. And I would rather her be true to us both than carry on with a lie.
I’m not afraid that my partner might leave, because I’m not dependent upon her for my happiness. I don’t need her in order to feel complete. I am already complete. And my happiness is my responsibility alone.
My partner is free to come and go as she pleases, and if it pleases her to be with me, then I am pleased to have her company. Knowing that she is free to leave at any time, and yet remains, reminds me of how much she truly desires, of her own free will, to share her time and energy with me. And that is far more precious than the company of someone who feels that they owe it to me to stick around.
I don’t want to be owed. Love is not a business. What I give, I give freely, and I what I receive, I accept as a gift. Love is a gift. There is no bargaining. There is nothing to be bought or sold. And you cannot force a gift from someone. Because as soon as you force someone to give you something, you become a thief. And whatever it is they have given you is never truly yours, because it was taken without consent.
It is because I love and respect my partner that I don’t impose anything upon her. Love is freely given. It has no requirements… no expectations.. no conditions. It is a priceless treasure. But as soon as you put a price on it, you cheapen it. You take away from it.
So let your love be a free gift, and seek not to possess it. Because the truth is, you have all the love you could ever need right inside of you. And the more you give it away, the more it fills you. So don’t be cheap. Give yourself permission to love. And don’t impose yourself on anyone.