It is impossible to make someone feel something specific emotionally – except perhaps fear – but that doesn’t stop us from wanting to have that power over others. We want to make them love and feel loved, we want to make them excited and intrigued and we want them to feel safe.
More than almost anything else I want the people I care about to feel safe. I have a ridiculously pathological need for them to trust me to look after them no matter what; I feel like their ability to love me is conditional on my ability to look after them and that if they don’t feel that I am looking after them (and/or they don’t feel safe) then they will stop loving me – or perhaps merely that I will not deserve their love.
When my beloveds feel insecure or beaten down I instinctively go into protective overdrive and no matter what things shake their world I want my love to be a foundation they can rely on. Perhaps this betrays an inner insecurity about people being snatched away, or merely a sense that I am accountable beyond all else but mostly I feel my need to be useful kicks in because what can be more useful than creating a sense of security when the world is hard.
I know that it can be particularly hard for someone who loves someone who isn’t exclusive to feel special – and if you are mono to feel that your love is safe and protected when your partner is not. I dont know how to address that and I feel I must everyday.
I feel no regret about the fact that I want to look after people that I care about and I am not embarassed that wanting people to feel secure and trust in my love and protection of them is more important than making them feel desired.
But…a) it is neither my right nor duty to dictate people’s responses to situations. b) I cannot (and perhaps should not) protect my loves all the time c) feeling safe is neither a guarantor of being loved nor a means to progression. d) My anxiety about making people feel safe does not help them feel safe..
I cannot make people feel loved or safe by loving and protecting them but I can help by not letting go of my love and protection simply because of fear or hard times.
It applies just as much to my family and friends as it does to the people closest to me – but I have to practice acknowledging the fact that I cannot simply make it better and accepting I can only hope that I am not a gibbering wreck when you need me!