Love the one your with

by Truly Caribbean Woman

For some reason over the past ten years, the chorus of this song would be ringing in my ears. ‘If you can’t be with the one you love honey, love the one your with.” The Luther Vandross version is my favorite but for a long time I rejected the notion of this song as a cry for compromise and just a terrible reflection of how we humans live today.

I’m always dreaming and long to see all my dreams become a reality. In this dream world of mine, men are perfect and so am I. There are no bad hair days and my body has not stretch marks. Sigh.

I don’t mean to put additional meaning to the words than what they say because they very clearly speak about the fact that your “baby, sweetheart is so far away.” Luther basically says “it’s not like you are falling in love” and also it’s just for “one night.” I am not interested in one night stands and wouldn’t advocate them for anyone. Not only because of the prevalence of sexually transmitted diseases but the emotional cost of them is way too high for anyone to have to live with.

But this song has become a recurring theme in my head whenever I get into fantasy mode wanting a relationship that can only really exist in my head, simply because we are all flawed humans. It usually comes up when there is someone before me but I am resistant to open myself up to a relationship because he doesn’t fit the mold I have told myself I need.

I’ve been bugging my sister about this sing and my quest to understand why it has just stayed in my head and the one day I got it. It may not have been the intent of the writer but for me this is what I got from Love the one you’re with.

This is another opportunity for me to live my life with gratitude. I am always looking for the next good thing, living for the “when I get” and the “if only” moments. Always longing for something new that is always out of reach and becomes the reason I may not accomplish one thing or another.

It is about living in the moment, again not seeking out one night stands or secret trysts but being present in my life. I am learning to be thankful. Thankful for the love that is presented to me and being grateful I have a chance to share the emotion and to receive it from someone else. It requires me to be accepting that for right now, the love I am receiving is the love I deserve and it reflects what I am giving. It may not mean that I can desire more, but I must first be thankful for what I have.

I have found this holds true to any area of my life. Whether I am dreaming about a new job or opportunity, needing a bigger house, a car or my kids to behave; I must first be thankful for the job I have and do it well. I should make every effort to take care of the home I do have, even if it is one room I am sharing with my children. If I am taking the bus, I learn to be thankful that I can come up with the fare or someone offers me a ride and not spend all of my time griping that I don’t have my own car. I am blessed to have wonderful children but of course there are days when I wonder about why I have four and if they are really listening to me. I do my best not to verbalize the negative but to celebrate what is good about my life as it is right now.

I have found this to be a liberating experience and it continues to reap dividends in all areas of my life.

So today, there is a rose in a fisted glove before you and the eagles are flying with the dove. If you can’t be with the one you love. If you can’t see that dream manifesting just yet, just keep dreaming but open your eyes long enough to see you are already living a dream because you have life, there are opportunities in front of you and someone who cares enough to call and say “hey, I was thinking of you.”

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