Dear Love | Playing Savior

Maybe I’m the person who’s almost the guardian angel to this person, to be there when they’re not strong enough, when they’re not understanding the world …
— Rihanna as told in Vanity Fair Magazine
Photo: GetColorStock

Funny enough, this is a sentiment that many people have probably often felt even if they were never ready to admit it or didn’t know how to express it. As much as we should be giving in our relationships and helping each other to grow, believing that you can save someone is a completely different ballgame.

It’s great when two people can feed off one another and add value to each other’s lives. You know I am all for that. I like that with my significant other I am a better woman and I would say he is also a better man with me. But we have to be really conscious of when we are acting as a lifeline for another person. You will never be able to help a person who doesn’t want to be helped. You can’t make a person want more for themselves no matter how hard you try.

The important thing to remember in instances like this is that you cannot change a person. Too often, we get caught in that rat trap. We think that if we stick it out, eventually he will want a real relationship instead of a situationship. We think that his circumstances are the cause of his aggressive behavior and when things get better he’ll change. We think that his affinity for other women will dissipate with a ring on his finger. Those excuses are the biggest load of crap that you can feed yourself and I’m sorry to be the one to break it to you. True change is something internal. I saw a post from Zakia of FBF Fitness that really characterized what leads to change.

I’ve never seen any life transformation that didn’t begin with the person in question finally getting tired of their own BS.
— Elizabeth Gilbert

It doesn’t say that it began with someone nagging the person to death. Or someone sacrificing their own well-being for that person to change. It talks about them being tired. And it’s natural when you love someone to want to try to save them. But remember in a previous post I talked about the correct order? God, yourself, others. When you love God enough, when you love yourself enough, you have to realize that your self-preservation is most important. This is not the Titanic, you do don’t have to go down playing with the ship.

This is not to say that people can’t change. I don’t want you to mistake that. But what I am saying is that change begins with them. Take a note from the 12 step program, people have to be able to admit they have a behavior that needs to change first. The only person in a relationship you have the power to change is yourself.

And for most of us, it’s easy to point the finger at someone like Rihanna or anyone in the public eye and say, “She’s silly,” or think that you would know better. But we all know that is not the case. Our vision is 20/20 when it comes to other people’s situations and a bit blurry when it comes to our own.

You develop an attachment to the person that you are with. They become a part of you in a way. You can think that your existence could be the light that will help them out of a dark place. And you know what? Sometimes you may be that person. You may be the right one God placed in their life that helps them get to where they need to be in life mentally, socially or professionally. But when it’s evident that someone has not yet reached that level, you are left with an important decision to make that usually comes down to your well-being or theirs.  As selfish as it sounds, you have to come first. You are no good to yourself constantly trying to drag someone else out of their own hole.

People wanted to make Rihanna’s statement about the psychology of going back to an abuser and I get that. But I think Rihanna was just a woman. Just a woman in love, thinking that she could help someone be better for themselves. And that’s not that different from normal women that didn’t endure any physical violence, but have given a piece of themselves and invested in the well-being of their counterpart. We make mistakes. We think people will change. We go back sometimes when we know we shouldn’t. That’s real life, but sooner or later if you’re lucky, you wake up and realize that you deserve someone in your life who is willing to change, willing to be the best version of themselves.

Heart Check:

Honestly, have you ever felt like you could save someone you were dating? Make them a better person? What was the wakeup call for you? 

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